Indian modern art fetches 4.28 million pounds in London auction

May 3rd, 2008 - 8:55 am ICT by admin  

London, May 3 (IANS) A painting by Francis Newton Souza fetched the top price of 580,500 pounds - outperforming old masters Tagore and Jamini Roy - at an auction of Indian modern and contemporary art at Sotheby’s Friday. The painting, tilted The Red Road, was hotly contested by at least seven bidders before selling to a client on the telephone, Sotheby’s said

One of the stars of the sale, the canvas was a gift from Souza, who died in 2002, to his wife Maria in 1962, a period widely acknowledged as the artist’s most successful. The painting was exhibited at the Hayward Gallery in London in 1989.

The Souza was among 120 paintings, which together fetched a sum of 4.28 million pounds, showing the continuing appeal of modern Indian art, a Sotheby’s specialist said.

“Indian Art continues to prosper - it’s a market on the move,” said Zara Porter-Hill, head of Indian Art at Sotheby’s. She said the auction house was “thrilled with the response that we’ve witnessed.”

“Bidding came from a very international audience, which included private collectors, institutions and the trade. The auction was a great success and we now look forward to the international Contemporary sale in New York later this month which features a select group of works by Indian Contemporary artists.”

Sixty-seven percent of the paintings sold for prices in excess of their pre-sale high estimates.

Among the contemporary group, an untitled canvas by young cutting-edge artist Subodh Gupta fetched the top price of 264,500 pounds.

Two works by Akbar Padamsee were other strong performers in the modern section of the auction, a nude selling for 252,500 pounds and an untitled landscape fetching 264,500 pounds.

Rabindranath Tagore’s Death Scene made 144,500 pounds against an estimate of 15,000-20,000 pounds and his Bird sold for 70,100 pounds; and Jamini Roy’s Santal Couple sold for 29,300 pounds.

Tagore’s Death Scene established a new auction record for the artist.

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