Home Art/Culture Raza tops Christies’ Indian art auction with $1.4 mn

Raza tops Christies’ Indian art auction with $1.4 mn


London : Famed artist Syed Haider Raza's 1985 work "La Terre" trumped the Christie's Modern and Contemporary Indian Art Auction here, fetching 720,000 pounds ($1.4 million).

This work of art at Lot 7 was estimated at 400,000-600,000 pounds. Out of the 105 lots offered, 85 sold at the auction Monday evening. In terms of value, the sale mopped up 4.47 million pounds ($8.8 million).

The catalogue cover Lot 21, Vasudev Gaitonde's untitled work of 1968, a sage green composition in the abstracted idiom saw a realisation of 490,400 pounds from an estimate of 450,000-550,000 pounds.

Gaitonde's second highest place was followed by Francis Newton Souza whose Lot 9, "Landscape with Planet" went for 311,200 pounds with its estimate at 200,000-300,000 pounds.

In a rare twin combine, Lot 29 and Lot 33 achieved the same price – 156,000 pounds. Lot 29 was Jagdish Swaminathan's "Untitled (from the Bird, Tree and Mountain Series)", created in 1985. It had an estimate of 130,000-180,000 pounds.

Lot 33 was Tyeb Mehta's 1961 untitled nude that got 156,000 pounds, much higher than its estimate of 40,000-60,000 pounds. Tyeb's early works are not as powerful as his later "Kali" or "Mahishasura" series.

M.F. Husain, 92, flew from Dubai to London to watch the sale. Somewhat satisfied to get a lower place on auction sales, his 1960 work untitled circa at Lot 25 went for 132,000 pounds from an estimate of 100,000-150,000 pounds.

The first world record at an auction was set for India's Duchamp Subodh Gupta whose Lot 106, an untitled 2005 work, went for 108,000 pounds from an estimated 40,000-50,000 pounds.

Young contemporary artists Subodh Gupta, Justin Ponmany and Talha Rathore also achieved record prices in the sale.

Christie's now looks forward to its Asian Contemporary Art sale in Hong Kong May 27 and the Modern and Contemporary Indian Art sale in September in New York.

"The Indian market is correcting and consolidating itself," said a collector and trader in the auction room who felt the auction didn't have too much to boast about.