Surendran Nair’s work tops Saffronart list in sale

March 14th, 2008 - 4:23 pm ICT by admin  

By Uma Nair
Mumbai, March 14 (IANS) Ahmedabad-based artist Surendran Nair’s work “Doctrine of the Forest: An Actor at Play” sold for an astounding Rs.21.24 million ($558,969), a winning bid for this work which was on the cover of the catalogue of the Saffronart Spring sale March 12-13. Out of the 140 lots in the sale, 119 (86 percent in value) were sold. The total sale value was Rs.272.03 million ($7.16 million). The auction included works of younger artists who have succeeded earlier than their elders.

Nair’s “Doctrine of the Forest: An Actor at Play” also titled “Cuckoonebulopolis”, an oil on canvas, set a new record of sorts.

In this work, the artist depicts a traditionally dressed Kathakali actor from Kerala, seemingly deep in meditation, perhaps getting into character for a performance. However, the gravity of the subject’s elaborate make-up, vestments and yogic pose are broken by a bright yellow rubber-ducky, peering up at him from his feet.

Second was Subodh Gupta’s untitled work which sold for Rs.18.1 million. For more than 10 years, Gupta has been using common steel goods of Indian kitchens as one of the primary materials for his art.

Third in the top ten bids was Subodh Gupta’s “Let Me Make My Damn Art”, which sold for Rs.16.6 million ($437,000). Marrying the worlds of high art and B-grade cinema, Gupta also used this piece to comment on the violence inherent to his creative process.

His third work, the stainless steel sculpture, “Feast for a Hundred God”, sold for Rs.7.9 million ($209,875). Jagannath Panda’s untitled work sold for Rs.13.4 million ($353,625).

Shibu Natesan’s “Each One Teach One” sold for Rs.10.6 million ($281,448). T.V. Santosh, whose works made waves at the recent Sotheby’s sale in London, occupied the sixth and the seventh positions on the price list.

Santosh’s untitled work went for Rs.8.8 million ($232,875) and one more canvas, “Unresolved Story II”, sold for the same value Rs.8.8 million ($232,875).

Atul Dodiya’s “Vansha Vriksha” raked in Rs.7.9 million ($208,150).

Dodiya’s second work, “Shri Jivan Chaya of Gandhi Nagar”, sold for Rs.6.5 million ($172,500). Bharti Kher and Anju Dodiya topped the list among the women artists. Bharti Kher’s “Death of a Snake Charmer” sold for Rs.5 million ($133,400) and Anju Dodiya’s “Daphne” sold for Rs.4.9 million ($129,375).

This auction was the twentieth in the series by Saffronart, which took place exclusively on Saffronart is the first auction house to have begun auctions online a few years ago.

The structure of the auction and its time-span allows serious collectors as well as first-time buyers worldwide to place their bids over a period of two days, as opposed to a period of a few hours at a live auction.

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