Online auction house Astaguru’s recent Modern Indian art sale achieved a white glove result (a sale where all lots are sold), with all 50 lots selling for a total sales value of Rs 42.69 crore.
The top highlight of the auction was M F Husain’s 1972 anti-war painting.
An iconic work of art, Husain painted it as a response to the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, which resulted in the India – Pakistan conflict.
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“The work offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s political intellect, and at the same time showcases his mastery with the brush,” the auction house said in a statement.
The painting that was offered at auction for the first time ever, fetched Rs 3.45 crore.
The sale also established world records for four artists — Meera Mukherjee, K Laxma Gouda, Laxman Shreshtha, and Badri Narayan.
Mukherjee’s Dancing Baul, a bronze sculpture from 1981, features a Baul singer, the group of mystic singers were very famous in Calcutta, giving us an insight as to the inspiration behind the artist’s work.
The sculpture achieved the highest price for the artist at an auction, realising an impressive bid of Rs 1.31 crore, indicating that the demand for Meera Mukherjee’s works has grown consistently over the past years.
While Shreshta’s Untitled (Diptych) oil on canvas (1994), a large-scale work executed in his signature style, sold at a world record price for the artist at auction realising Rs 52.31 lakh, Narayan’s Untitled oil on canvas (1960) received a world record bid of Rs 1.07 crore, achieving the highest price for the artist at auction.
The sale featured several milestone works by eminent artists and the overwhelming response from collectors underscores the continued demand for works by the modernists that are new to the auction marketand have great provenance.
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“Furthermore, the four world records set for artists K Laxma Goud, Meera Mukherjee, Badri Narayan, and Laxman Shreshtha, indicate that the Indian art market is blossoming and that collectors are looking beyond works by the Progressive Artists Group to expand their collections,” said Sneha Gautam, Vice President- Client Relations, AstaGuru.
The auction also included several important works from different stages of eminent modernist S H Raza’s illustrious career. Raza’s Prakriti (1997) made its auction debut in the catalogue, achieving the second-highest price of the sale at Rs 2.39 crore.
Another key highlight of the auction was a crucial work from the artist’s oeuvre titled The Earth (1982) which was the third-highest sale in the auction, selling at Rs 1.98 crore.
“This extraordinary creation showcases his deep understanding of his motherland,” the auction house said.
Another important lot in the sale was an early Landscape by Akbar Padamsee (1963), which achieved a sales total of INR 1.50 crore.