Judd Tully, the Master, dials into Tyeb Mehta on ArtInfo.com, with these market details:
Over a career spanning almost six decades, Mehta created fewer than 500 paintings, says Vadehra, less than 10 a year. The figure would undoubtedly be higher if not for the artist’s exactitude and penchant for destroying his own works.
Popular taste took time to catch up with Mehta’s style. “When we were showing Tyeb, starting in the 1960s and through the early ’80s, my parents weren’t selling much of his work. The paintings were under a thousand rupees [about $500] in the ’60s,” says the Mumbai dealer Shireen Gandhy, of Gallery Chemould, which was founded in 1963 by Shireen’s father, Kekoo, considered the Leo Castelli of India. One young collector, the now-celebrated art patron Kanwaldeep Sahney, paid the gallery 800 rupees in eight installments for a work.
That has changed. Mehta’s market evolution is exemplified in the route traveled by his 1987 painting Drummer: In December 2001 at Saffronart in Mumbai, it sold for $36,000; when it returned to auction at Christie’s New York in March 2004, it made $101,575. “Tyeb is defined as being at the vanguard of creating those critical moments as an artist in the auction world,” says Minal Vazirani, cofounder and director of Saffronart. “The paintings have an incredible universality that really resonates, especially among people of Indian origin.” […]
So far, Mehta has exceeded the million-dollar mark 11 times at auction. This streak began in September 2005 at Christie’s New York when a 1997 Mahishasura (est. $600-800,000) sold for a record-smashing $1,584,000.
Tyeb Mehta (ArtInfo.com)