Osian's plans modern art sale

Ashoke Nag

KOLKATA: Leading auctioneer Osian’s is coming with its next Indian Modern & Contemporary Art auction soon. The sale features a range of 126 lots by 87 artists. The collection includes works by modernist masters like Abanindranath Tagore and Gaganendranath Tagore, Jagdish Swaminathan, Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, Bikash Bhattacharjee, KH Ara and Ganesh Pyne.

The two artists with the tallest prices are Mehta’s untitled oil on canvas at Rs 1.6- Rs 2 crore and Swaminathan’s ‘Mountain and Bird’ series pegged in the band of Rs 1.6- Rs 2 crore.

In step, Rameshwar Broota’s ‘Ape’ series is estimated at Rs 92 lakh to Rs 1.2 crore, FN Souza’s ‘Landscape in Red (Hampstead)’ at Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore, SH Raza’s ‘Jal Bindu’ Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore and MF Husain’s ‘Holi’ Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore. At the same time, a Ram Kumar untitled is valued in the bracket of Rs 84 lakh to Rs 1 crore and Pyne’s ‘Bird’ at Rs 60-72 lakh. The auctioneer projects that all these labels will cross the Rs 1-2 crore mark.

In the next rung of price estimates are top modernist works such as Ustad Allah Bukhsh’s ‘Gopi’s Dakshana to Krishna’ priced at Rs 36-48 lakh, Ara’s ‘Woman and Desire’ Rs 36-45 lakh, KG Subramanyan’s ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ Rs 40-48 lakh, ‘Miss T in Social Gathering’ Rs 48-60 lakh, Jogen Chowdhury’s ‘His Master’s Leopard’ Rs 36-48 lakh, FN Souza’s ‘Orange Grove — California’ Rs 48-60 lakh and ‘Recurring Shadows’ by J Swaminathan at Rs 64-72 lakh.

In the contemporary category, Subodh Gupta’s untitled is expected to fetch Rs 40-52 lakh and ‘Puppets’ Rs 24-32 lakh, Shibu Natesan’s ‘Futility of Device’ Rs 48-60 lakh, Baiju Parthan’s ‘Deontology — Arrival of the Knowledge Self’ Rs 28-30 lakh and Chittrovanu Mazumdar’s untitled at Rs 24-30 lakh. The other top-priced contemporaries are Arpana Caur’s ‘In Vrindavan’ with an estimate of Rs 20-24 lakh, Rekha Rodwittya’s ‘Naika’ Rs 12-16 lakh and Jayashree Chakravarty’s ‘Message Unknown’ Rs 16-20 lakh.

“With the ongoing construction for the Osianama, our interest in Indian contemporary art is increasing. Hence, an enlarged section of the same is being featured in our auction. Further, the increase in international interest is another factor for this priority,” Osian’s Indian contemporary art specialist Neeti Mallick told ET.

In the same breath, Osian’s chairman Neville Tuli said: “The mix of early modern, post-modern and contemporary is one of the prime facets of the Osian’s auctions, giving the full range of serious collectors and institutional buyers an opportunity of buying high quality modern and contemporary art.”

“As the concept of art as investment gains credibility, the serious financial institutions will increase their involvement and exposure to the subject. Further, as Indian art becomes part of mainstream world art, the international collector will add a new angle to the collection building processes. The future is very bright and there is renewed appreciation for Indian art,” he added.
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