Subodh Gupta to top Saffronart autumn online auction

August 30th, 2008 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 30 (IANS) Two works by leading contemporary artist Subodh Gupta have been set at the highest estimates at Saffronart’s autumn online auction, scheduled to take place Sep 3-4. However, it is not Gupta’s work that gets the treasured cover - it is T.V. Santosh’s enigmatically entitled “When your Target Cries for Mercy”.In a queer coincidence, Santosh’s show “A Room To Pray” just opened at Avanthay Contemporary, Zurich and perhaps Saffronart is willing to ride the crest of that wave of international gleanings.

Santosh’s large, vivid diptych with the graphic title “When Your Target Cries for Mercy” is pathos filled - the viewer is alerted to the crisis that the soldier is presently faced with, probably for the first time in his career.

A target, not distanced by the viewfinder on his barrel anymore, has suddenly become a fellow human being, pleading for his life. Torn between killing and being merciful, between being faithful to his command and being faithful to his heart, the soldier must live forever with what he decides in the split second that Santosh has captured in this epic piece. The work is estimated at $125,000-150,000.

Top of the 130 Lots by 62 artists is Gupta’s 2004 work “Saat Samundar Paar” (Across the Seven Seas), estimated at $500,000-700,000. Gupta’s second work also takes the highest slot. “Idol Thief I”, a 2005 oil on canvas, is estimated at $500,000-700,000. Of great interest is the fact that both these works were present at Christie’s sales in London and Hong Kong.

New Delhi-based Gupta was the sole non-Chinese artist to break into the top 10 Asian contemporary works sold, with his “Saat Samundar Paar 10″ fetching $1.2 million at Christie’s Asian Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Hong Kong May 24-25.

At lot 94 is Atul Dodiya’s untitled 2004 work. Created as a watercolour, with charcoal and gesso on paper, it is estimated at $150,000-200,000.

Sudhir Patwardhan’s “The Clearing” is a work from 2007. This acrylic on canvas is estimated at $125,000-150,000. The second work by Patwardhan is the 2007 “Death on the Street 2″. This acrylic on canvas is estimated at $15,000-17,500.

Of great panache and passion is a watercolour by India’s cerebro aesthete artist Surendran Nair who weaves ideology and wit into his compositions. Nair’s “Forty Winks 2 (Corollary Mythologies)” belonging as far back as 1997 and is estimated at $75,000-87,500.

Then there is Anju Dodiya’s “The Site” - a 2005 work that flanks the back cover of the Saffron catalogue, this is an acrylic on mattress and is estimated at $100,000-150,000.

Jagannath Panda’s “Home Grown” is a 2008 acrylic and fabric on canvas and is estimated at $75,000-100,000. Of equal importance is Jitish Kallat’s “Dial-A-Dream (Diagram of Hope)” done in 2002. This oil on canvas is estimated at $90,000-100,000.

Shibu Natesan - the Indian artist who lives in London - has a passionate work entitled “Against the Wind”. This brilliant 2003 oil on canvas is estimated at $125,000-150,000.

Among the women artists, the finest work belongs to India’s rising star Mithu Sen who is currently executing a work in Japan, where she has been invited to be part of an exclusive showing. Her 2006 mixed media on paper painting is estimated at $25,000-30,000.

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