Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sotheby's sees high prices for Indian artists

KOLKATA: Sotheby’s day sale of contemporary art in London has seen some Indian artists achieve tidy prices.

Raqib Shaw’s Chrysanthemum & Bee,which was estimated at £80,000-120 ,000, has been picked up for £103,250 and Anish Kapoor’s After Marsyas, with an estimate of £70,000- £90,000, has sold for £109,250.

At the same time, a Subodh Gupta Untitled (Across Seven Seas), sporting an estimate in the range of £40,000- £60,000 has been bought out for £85,250. In the same breath, T V Santosh’s Man Made Famine and the Rats, which was pegged at an estimate of £40,000-60 ,000, has gone for £121,250. In step, an Anish Kapoor Untitled, assessed to sell between £400,000 and £600,000, has been acquired for £481,250.

In an email to ET from London, Mr James Sevier of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art department, said: “The group of works by Indian artists in our major sales of Contemporary Art in London, once again performed exceptionally well. Seven of the nine works offered realised a price that was handsomely in excess of their presale high estimate. We were particularly delighted with the new auction records established for Anish Kapoor (in the Evening Sale) and the leading Pakistani Contemporary artist Rashid Rana (in the Day Sale)."

“The positive results confirm the continued and growing international interest in the Indian contemporary art field. We’re looking forward to building on this again in our Contemporary sales in London in the autumn.”

Incidentally , Pakistan’s Rashid Rana work Veil #6, which showed an estimate of £60,000-80 ,000, shot past the presale value and went for a whopping £325,250. The international section was led by names like Francis Bacon, Anthony Gormley, Richard Prince and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Interestingly, the Basquiat masterpiece, Untitled, from 1982-83 was sold on behalf of the rock band U2 for £5.081 million.

The painting was acquired jointly by members of the band after it was first spotted by bassist Adam Clayton at Robert Miller Gallery in New York. The band acquired Untitled in 1989, and it has since resided in their Dublin studio. A group for 12 works from the Helga and Walther Lauffs collection performed well above expectations when they raised a total of £18.983 million against a presale estimate of £6.470- £8.930 million.

The breakdown of buyers by lots saw Europe leading the way with 49%, US at 39%, Asia 3%, with other regions in the bracket of 8%.

ET Bureau
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