Tyeb Mehta to trump Saffronart auction

By Uma Nair


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Mumbai : The Saffronart summer online auction of modern Indian art works, featuring 130 works by 41 artists, will take place June 6-7. And the most prominent among them is Tyeb Mehta's "Kali" estimated at a hefty $875,000-$1.1 million (Rs.35 million-Rs.45 million).

This auction is the 17th in the series by Saffronart that will take place exclusively on www.saffronart.com.

"Records are set once in a few years when all the parameters go into its making," says Dinesh Vazirani, director of the auction house.

Right on top at Lot 77 with capital and investment favour is Tyeb Mehta's "Kali", signed and dated in English belonging to 1989.

Following Mehta's oil on canvas are two pieces of art by S.H. Raza that contrast in their year of origin. At Lot 50, Raza's "Terre Rouge" belonging to 1968 is an acrylic on canvas and is estimated at a handsome $400,000-$600,000.

Lot 71 is Raza's "Amar Jiva", a newer work dated 2001. This acrylic on canvas is estimated at $400,000-$600,000.

Lot 2 is a gorgeous work of M.F. Husain belonging to 1964, considered to be one of his finest periods. This canvas is a synergy of history and the vitality of expressionism in the way he captures the horses in full zest.

"The horse is a sign of a spirit that can never be stagnant," Husain had said years ago.

This zesty oil on canvas is estimated at $350,000-$450,000.

The late F.N. Souza's "Nude Queen" is in Lot 74. This irresistible work belonging to 1962 is an oil on canvas that is estimated at $300,000-$400,000.

Among India's women artists, the artist whose work is impossible to attain in the market is Arpita Singh. She is known as one who thinks with paint. Lot 83 is Singh's "Stop Ringing the Bell" – a rather recent work in the favoured pinks and blues. Done in 2003, this oil on canvas is estimated at $285,000-$335,000.

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 in a live auction. Saffronart also opens its New York space in its quest for widening frontiers.