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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

On the Count

This winter,when the art auctions take off in full throttle,some interesting works with prices to boot,will come up for sale.

Written by Georgina Maddox |
November 24, 2010 3:03:36 am

Art auctions this winter will see some unusual Indian works up for sale

This winter,when the art auctions take off in full throttle,some interesting works with prices to boot,will come up for sale. “The market is looking healthy and its predicted growth is upwardly mobile. After the price correction,there has been steady and informed buying. This is due to greater transparency and quality works,” says Dinesh Vazirani,the director of the online portal saffronart that launches its winter auction this December 8.

Making waves at the auction is Wish Dream,the mural/ canvas by Arpita Singh who recently set a new personal record at the last Sotheby’s auction at $506,500 (rupees 23,080,617) this September. For the Saffronart auction Singh’s 16 individual canvases have been priced at $23,25,585 (rupees 10 crores). Art aficionados are waiting to see if she will break her own record,becoming one of the most expensive woman artists in the country.

Besides Singh’s work the auction also highlights a canvas by SH Raza,titled Oasis that is priced at rupees one crore — a conservative estimate,given that the artist raked in three million dollars (rupees 16 crore) for Saurashtra at the Christie’s Auction in June this year. The logic behind this relatively affordable price for a work by a biggie like Raza lies in a market strategy designed to not intimidate the buyer.

“Prices have to be attractive and realistic. A canvas that is too expensive to begin with,tends to repel buyers. However during bidding if the work fetches a good price it shows the strength of the art work and the market,” says Maher Dadha of Bid and Hammer,who is offering Jatayu Vadha,a rare work by Raja Ravi Varma,priced at $380,400,(rupees one crore 75 thousand) and a Nicholas Roerich priced at $326,100 (rupees one crore 25 thousand) for auction on November 30. “I was approached by an owner of a Ravi Varma to sell the work for 10 crore,but I refused to put it up for auction because it is an unrealistic price. I chose the moderately priced work because it will attract buyers” says Dadha who also wants to promote “unsung heroes” like Allah Bux,H Mazumdar and a rare nude by Jamini Roy,done before he developed his signature Kalighat Pat-inspired works. “We also have S H Raza’s letter to his guruji and a rare canvas by FN Souza of Mary Magdalene with Christ,” says Dadha.

Clearly the preference this winter is for the Moderns even though contemporaries like Subodh Gupta —whose canvas is priced at rupees one crore and Riyas Komu,whose work is priced at rupees 80 lakhs for the Saffronart auction — have held their sway in the market.

On their tenth anniversary,Asia Art Archive has come up with an auction of internationally acclaimed Asian artists,which include names like Anju Dodiya and the Kallats. The auction,which took off on November 19,in Hong Kong is being conducted by Sotheby’s Auction House,and will conclude this Friday. Besides several established Korean and Chinese artists,works by Indians include Dodiya’s mixed media on paper,priced at a reasonable $10,300.00 (rupees 469,426) and Reena Saini Kallat’s acrylic on canvas. The latter is priced at $25,8001 (rupees 175,418). Jitish’s Kallat’s Traumanama,a mixed media work on handmade paper is perhaps the most attractively priced— at just $32,200 (rupees 1,468,284). Bids can be placed online at http://www.aaa.org and over the phone by overseas collectors. “Our purpose is to provide an opportunity to collectors to purchase inspiring works of art,” says Mohammed Sabih,the India researcher for the AAA.

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