With major auctions on three continents this month, Kishore Singh gives a detailed evaluation of the Indian art market as whole:
As many as 46 works by F N Souza are on auction this month, a pointer to his continuously rising importance and prolific brush. Nineteen of those works, including an unusual Beasts of Prey (estimated value between Rs 92 lakh-1.4 crore), will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on March 23, followed a day later by five works at Sotheby’s, also in New York. On March 20, in Mumbai, nine drawings and two mixed media works by Souza will form part of Osian’s Masterpieces Series, but the real treasures are at the Saffronart sale on March 10 and 11, when 11 Souzas will enter the market, the most expensive of which isDecomposing Head at Rs 90 lakh-1.12 crore.
These auctions will set prices for this year’s art market in which 88-year-old S H Raza is leading the race with his Gestation (Christies, Rs 2.75-3.70 crore),Germination (Osian’s, Rs 1.2-1.8 crore) and Prakriti Purush (Saffronart, Rs 81-99 lakh) series, and La Mer (Sotheby’s, Rs 46-69 lakh). Raza’s day out is a pointer to how the four auction houses have gone about their pricing — while Christie’s seems to have pushed the envelope, Saffronart and Sotheby’s have decided to stay soft, and Osian’s has hardened prices.
Souza Season in Raza Raj (Business Standard)