London-based Anish Kapoor became the most successful Indian artist alive, having sold 102 lots that realised a total turnover of Rs 168.25 crores in 2018-19, according to a new survey. According to Hurun India Art List, 65-year-old Kapoor’s highest selling artwork an untitled stainless steel sculpture, sold for Rs 9.31 crore at a Christie’s auction in October last year.
“The works of Anish Kapoor, contemporary sculptor, registered the highest demand in terms of value and lots in the auction houses during the period under review,” the survey noted. The list by the Hurun Research Institute, a luxury publishing group based in Shanghai in China, is a compilation of top 50 Indian artists alive by the valuation of their work sold in the auction houses from April 2018 to March 2019.
The report is based on data from top auction-houses and agencies in the industry. The most expensive work sold by an Indian artist last year was “Seated Nude” by Akbar Padamsee. It fetched Rs 11.70 crore at a Pundole’s auction in June 2018. Artists like Krishen Khanna, Jogen Chowdhury, Raqib Shaw, Sakti Burman, Thota Vaikuntam and Himmat Shah also featured on the list.
Twenty-four per cent of the artists on the list were found to be women, with Arpita Singh being the most successful female Indian artist alive with works that cumulatively fetched Rs 5.25 crore last year. Singh sold 12 lots last year. Her most expensive work “Ashvamedha” sold for Rs 1.87 crore.
In other findings of the report, painting emerged as the most popular mode of presenting art, and 32 individuals on the list preferred contemporary art form to express their ideas, followed closely by abstract, surrealism, and modernism.