Subodh Gupta’s work fetches $1.33 mn at Saffronart auction

June 20th, 2008 - 11:31 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) New Delhi-based contemporary artist Subodh Gupta’s untitled work of steel vessels soared past S.H. Raza’s “Germination” to record a high of Rs.57 million ($1.33 million) at Saffronart’s summer online auction. Indian art has moved from a miniscule $2 million to a huge $400 million market over the last seven years and the latest Saffrontart auction is an indication that the art business is only set to grow further.

Gupta’s work rose far above the expectations of Rs.8-10 million at the auction held Wednesday and Thursday, proving that young artists were taking over from the masters. On June 11, Gupta had moved into the record making million dollar bracket with the sale of his untitled installation of steel pots for $1.2 million at Christie’s sale of Indian contemporary art in London.

Raza, whose work was estimated to fetch Rs.27.5-37.5 million, settled for second place with Rs.42 million at the Saffronart sale.

F.N. Souza’s image of a nude woman went for a winning bid of Rs.16.3 million. Of the 12 Husains, three went unsold and the highest bid was Rs.15 million. Cerebral artist T.V. Santosh’s work went for Rs.5.6 million and Bose Krishnamachari’s “Plot” sold for Rs.3.4 million.

One of Atul Dodiya’s works went unsold but the other attracted a bid of Rs.8 million. Among Jogen Chowdhury’s seven works, only one was sold.

Experts say that with inflation at above eight percent, bidders are extremely selective but the market remains buoyant for exclusive works.

“We have to recognize that people who purchase Indian art constitute a very different buyer base. These buyers purchase, particularly at the top end, from accumulated wealth and not from earnings. So, I think the market is good for superlative works,” said Dinesh Vazirani, the founder of Saffronart.

Saffronart had hoped to take the sale tally to Rs.270 million, which was easily achieved with Gupta, Raza and Souza attracting high bids.

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