Photographs take centrestage at Saffronart winter online auction

December 13th, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) Modern art made a comeback and photographs took centrestage at Saffronart’s Winter Online Auction of modern and contemporary art that grossed total sales of Rs.140 million (US$ 2.9 million). Nearly 740 registered bidders from 35 countries vied for the art works on sale.

The auction also saw an interest in Indian photography and world auction records were set for nine photographers - Dayanita Singh, Raghu Rai, Prabuddha Dasgupta, T.S. Nagarajan, T.S. Satyan, Annu P. Matthew, Swapan Nayak, Prashant Panjiar and Ryan Lobo, a release issued by Saffronart said.

The top lots sold include Dayanita Singh’s “Gandhi’s Room, Anand Bhavan, Allahabad” (2000), which sold for Rs.703,800 and Vivek Vilasini’s “Between One Shore and Several Others (Potato Eaters after Van Gogh)” (2008) which earned the auctioneer Rs.455,952.

Raghu Rai’s “Somewhere in Ladakh” (1998) sold for Rs.214,475.

Works by modernists Akbar Padamsee, J. Swaminathan, V.S. Gaitonde and Arpita Singh’s crossed the Rs.10 million mark.

Akbar Padamsee’s “Untitled” (1996) sold for Rs.13.2 million while J. Swaminathan’s “Untitled” (1974) fetched Rs. 12 million.

V.S. Gaitonde’s “Untitled” (1965) sold for Rs.11.3 million while another untitled canvas by J. Swaminathan raked Rs.6.7 million.

Arpita Singh’s “Couple Having Tea” (1992) went out for Rs.8.8 million.

In the contemporary lots, Subodh Gupta fetched the highest value of Rs.13.59 million for his canvas, Untitled (2005).

Another canvas by Gupta, “Untitled” (2006), sold for Rs.11 million.

Commenting on the results of this auction, Dinesh Vazirani, founder and chief executive officer of Saffronart, said, “It is interesting to see that Indian art has come full circle, and that there is a renewed interest in modern Indian masterpieces from collectors across the world.

“Of our top 10 results at this sale, eight were for modern paintings. This sale offered a number of longstanding and new collectors the chance to acquire premium modern and contemporary works at highly competitive prices,” Vazirani said.

The addition of a section dedicated to Indian photography in the auction presented an opportunity to collectors to buy works by some of the reputed photographers in the country, Vazirani said.

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