|Raza’s Bharatiya Samaroh that fetched Rs 4.07 crore
Calcutta, Sept. 14: Syed Haidar Raza, the Paris-based 1922-born artist from Babaria, Madhya Pradesh, has proved once again that he is the reigning monarch of the Indian art market.
His acrylic on canvas painting titled Bharatiya Samaroh, done in 1988, topped Saffronarts autumn online auction on September 9-10, fetching Rs 4.07 crore, well above the estimate of Rs 2.7 crore-3.6 crore.
Saffronarts website describes it as a global company with deep Indian roots which was founded in 2000.
Earlier in June, at the Christies London sale, his painting titled Saurashtra shattered all international records of Indian art of today by going under the hammer for a whopping Rs 14.18 crore. It broke the previous record held by the master artist for La Terre, which sold for Rs 8.56 crore on June 30, 2008.
Razas 59x59inch work features now familiar Indian motifs — such as the grid formed by vertical and horizontal lines, the bindu, triangles and other elements of design derived from tantric art and yantras — and throbs with pulsating shades of red, green, yellow, blue and black in the optical art manner. Raza, who moved to France in 1950, visits India frequently and never loses an opportunity to talk about his roots.
M.F. Husain once commanded the highest prices in the Indian contemporary art market, but in recent times Raza has been ruling the roost. He is followed by Husain and Francis Newton Souza. These artists form the triad of Indias greats. One-time favourite Tyeb Mehta has lost his prime place.
At this auction, however, it was Jogen Chowdhury, who, although way behind Raza, won the second place. His dark and powerful work, Couple I —Man and Woman, fetched Rs 1.59 crore, followed closely by Souzas Last Howl from the Cross (Rs 1.55 crore) and Husains Untitled work (Rs 1.29 crore).
Quite predictably, Subodh Gupta, the darling of international art aficionados, went for Rs 1.22 crore, and that too for stainless steel pots and pans, while Tyeb Mehta went for as little as Rs 82.8 lakh.
The other three artists who made it to the Rs 1-crore bracket were Jehangir Sabavala, Manjit Bawa and G. Ravinder Reddy, whose iconic sculpture of a womans head saw intense competition.
While Saffronarts auction fell short of its pegged total high estimate of Rs 39 crore, 51 per cent of the lots were auctioned in competitive bidding for more than their higher estimate. We are very happy with the response.… The sale saw strong prices achieved across the board as well as sustained bidding from serious and mature collectors and this is a very positive message for the market, Dinesh Vazirani, the CEO and co-founder of Saffronart, said in a statement.
The art market continues to show strength and we will continue to witness interest in the works of renowned Indian artists in the coming auctions. Our performance is a testament to our focus on presenting some of the best modern and contemporary Indian art to the world.