Col­lec­tors Spend Big on In­dian Art­work

2015 was the most fi­nan­cially suc­cess­ful year with 42 works sell­ing for ₹ 333 cr: Re­port

The Economic Times - - Brands & Companies - Tas­mayee.La­haroy @times­

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.

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