Tyeb Me­hta’s Kali cre­ates new record, fetches ₹26.4 crore

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO -

In­dian artists in­clud­ing SH Raza, MF Hu­sain, FN Souza, Man­jit Bawa, Nan­dalal Bose, Ak­bar Padamsee and Su­bodh Gupta went on the block dur­ing the two-day on­line auc­tion held on Wednesday and Thursday.

In all, 85% of the lots sold, fetch­ing a to­tal of Rs75 crore.

VS Gaitonde’s 1965 un­ti­tled beige-and-white can­vas that re­flects the artist’s syn­the­sis of east­ern and western art philoso­phies and Raja Ravi Varma’s rare in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Shiva as a di­vine teacher dat­ing back to 1903 net­ted Rs 5.94 crore and Rs 3.6 crore re­spec­tively.

The auc­tion set world records for five other artists - NS Ben­dre, M V Dhu­rand­har, Sankho Chaud­huri, Sheila Makhi­jani and Dhanan­jay Singh.

Among the sculp­tures up for sale, Gupta’s Hun­gry God (2005-06) led the show. The 8.6-foot tall sculp­ture made with stain­less steel uten­sils net­ted Rs 1.46 crore.

This auc­tion marks 18 years since the Mum­bai-based auc­tion house was launched by the hus­band-wife duo of Di­nesh and Mi­nal Vazi­rani, giv­ing In­dia its first on­line art auc­tion house.

Over the years, Saffronart di­ver­si­fied from a port­fo­lio of purely mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art to in­clude an­tiq­ui­ties, books, tex­tiles, folk and tribal art. It also adopted a hy­brid model that con­verges on­line and off­line auc­tions.

This auc­tion was con­ducted en­tirely on­line. “Our fo­cus has been to make the best of In­dian art ac­ces­si­ble to au­di­ences around the world,” Di­nesh said. “Back then, we were told this con­cept wouldn’t work.”

How­ever, their first on­line had sales amount­ing to $100,000. “At that time, the mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary In­dian art auc­tion mar­ket was glob­ally val­ued at less than $2 mil­lion,” says Mi­nal. “We like to think we helped change how In­dian art is ac­quired.”

(Above) Su­bodh Gupta’s Hun­gry God and Tyeb Me­hta’s Kali.

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