New Delhi: The Indian auction market is set to end March with splendour. Scheduled over the last two weeks of the month are five sales by four auction houses- Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Saffronart and AstaGuru- with a total of 351 lots that amount to a higher estimate of Rupees 225.76 cr according to Indian art market advisory firm Artery India.
According to Arvind Vijaymohan, CEO of Artery India, an Indian art market advisory firm, “The figure of Rupees 225.7 crores is indicative of buoyancy in the market, which over the past two financial years has witnessed strong growth particularly in the Modernist and Pre-Modernist sections.”
The predominant size amongst the works on offer is XS (extra small, referring to works measuring below 600 sq inches), comprising a count of 174 - that is nearly 50% of the total work count consigned for sale.
The top three artists with the highest number of works offered for sale are F. N. Souza (35 works), M.F. Husain (24 works), and Jamini Roy (19 works). Considered from the turnover perspective, Modernist V.S. Gaitonde, amongst the world’s finest abstractionists, leads the list, with just 4 works amounting to a higher estimate of Rupees 40.52 crores. The estimated top 5 works represent the humble grandeur of Modern Indian art. V.S.
Gaitonde’s Untitled of 1973 tops the list with an upper estimate of Rupees 30 crores. His most expensive work to sell at auction, which is also the most expensive Indian artwork sold at auction till date, achieved a price of Rupees 29.3 crores in 2015. The second name on the list is S.H. Raza’s two works titled Jaipur and Jodhpur, painted in 1976, which is estimated at Rs. 21 crores.
Pre-modern artist Raja Ravi Varma’s oil on canvas is estimated between Rupees 12-18 crores, succeeded by Gaitonde’s oil on canvas fixed at an upper estimate of 10 crore. MF Husain’s large format canvas measuring 50 x 81 inches, bearing his signature motif of horses, occupies the fifth position with an estimate of Rupees 48,573,000 - 62,451,000. The top three works on the list are offered by Saffronart, the fourth by AstaGuru, and the fifth by Christie’s.
“Gaitonde’s market has recorded an active interest from collectors and investors globally, particularly following his critically well received retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in 2014-2015”