India, China to rule New York sale: Sotheby’s


Mumbai : Veteran artist F.N. Souza’s 1955 oil on board titled “Head of a Man” will be the costliest work to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s March 19 auction of Contemporary Indian Art.

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It is expected to rake in $280,000-380,000.

The preview of the works going under the hammer will be on display Thursday at Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel here.

Other works by Indian artists on display will be those by Arpita Singh, Syed Haider Raza, Anjolie Ela Menon and Jagdish Swaminathan.

Deputy chairman of Sotheby’s (European and Asian art) Henry Howard-Sneyd, on the eve of a preview of the auction of Contemporary Asian Art, said here: “Indian artists in recent times have been fetching attractive prices. The masterpiece of Raqib Shaw titled ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights III’, fetched a phenomenal $5.49 million in our Contemporary Art Evening Sale held Oct 12, 2007. The record is an indicator of the importance of Indian contemporary art.”

The jewellery auction will be held in New York March 17. According to deputy director, Lis Hubbard, chairwoman, Sotheby’s Jewellery (North and South America), the auction will see the sale of the legendary Golconda diamonds.

Sotheby’s will be holding auctions of contemporary art in New York and London as well as that of jewellery from Asian nations between March and May.

The auction of Asian art will also feature Chinese artists in a big way. And the painting expected to command the maximum price is none other than that of the country’s Communist icon Mao.

The highlight of the exhibition, according to the auctioneers, is the work “Mao” by Yan Pei-Ming, an artist known for epic-size portraits.

Sotheby’s experts say “Mao”, painted in 1998, depicting a three-dimensional chiaroscuro of expressions, will go under the hammer at $400,000-600,000.

“I have worked in Hong Kong for quite some time and I have realised that China is fast becoming an important country in the art world. I feel that like the western masters, Chinese and Indian masters are making a significant impact that cannot be overlooked. And the forthcoming auctions showcasing Asian art are cases in point,” Howard-Sneyd told the IANS.

Giving details about the auctions, Mark Poltimore, deputy chairman, Sotheby’s (Europe), said: “The New York sale will see an impressive line-up of works by Zhai Wuji (Zao Wou-ki), Yan Pei Ming, Liu Ye, Zhang Ziaogang and Wang Guangyi.”