Collectors Spend Big on Indian Artwork
2015 was the most financially successful year with 42 works selling for ₹ 333 cr: Report
Kolkata: As many as 44 out of 500 most expensive artworks of Indian artists were sold in auctions last year, raising $41.4 million, or about ₹ 281 crore, says a new study that reflects a maturing art market where collectors are willing to spend big on important works.
Art intelligence agency Artery India’s list of 500 most expensive Indian artworks ever sold in an auction, shared exclusively with ET, shows that works of top modernists Tyeb Mehta, VS Gaitonde and SH Raza accounting for almost three-fifths of the total ₹ 1,936 crore realised from sale of top 500 works.
If 2006 was the peak in terms of volume with sale of 82 of the top 500 works for $46.8 million, or about ₹ 318 crore, 2015 was the most financially successful year with 42 works selling for $49.04 million, or about ₹ 333 crore, according to the report titled ‘Artery Top 500 Works’.
“There are tangible signs of the market’s rising maturity, with a small band of serious collectors willing to pay richer prices for important work,” said Arvind Vijaymohan, founder of Artery India. “This is evident from the ascent in revenues from the sales of top-tier assets, though we have recorded a strong drop in the number of works sold in this tier over the past four years,” he said.
There are 32 artists featured in the Artery Top 500 — five premodernists, 17 modernists, 10 contemporaries. Mehta, Gaitonde and Raza accounted for almost three-fifths of the total realisation, with their 132 works selling for $167.3million, or about ₹ 1,139 crore.
The top three contributors by way of volume of most expensive 500 artworks, too, are modernists. Raza leads the list with 77 works, followed F N Souza with 71 works and M F Husain with 69 works.