The Economic Times of India covers the Mumbai sale of Indian art from Osian’s. With only 58% of the works sold, the $4.11m sale was still good for the works that found buyers:
The most expensive sale of the evening was the exceptional 1998 painting ‘Head Studies of Mahishasura’ by Tyeb Mehta, a work charged with visual and symbolist anxiety that generated spirited bidding and finally sold for Rs 4,56,00,000 ($ 1,002,639).
Art enthusiasts looking to invest in quality works of art bid fervently for works by Akbar Padamsee, S.H. Raza and Rameshwar Broota, with each of their works fetching well over a crore of rupees.
The little jewel of a painting , a rare 1884 gouache by Raja Ravi Varma depicting Krishnaraja Wodeyar III’s Coronation and the Himalayan landscape captured by Nicholas Roerich, both National Art Treasures (Non-Exportable ), fetched Rs 72,00,000 and Rs 81,60,000 respectively.
Signifying a definite demand for rare and quality works, ‘Black Lillies’ by Jehangir Sabavala brought in Rs 58,80,000 ($ 129,288) while ‘Alphabet Stories II’ by Gulammohammed Sheikh and ‘Fisherwomen’ by B. Prabha fetched Rs 55,20,000 ($ 121,372) and Rs 4,320,000 ($ 94,987) respectively.
While all the national art treasures (Raja Ravi Varma, Nicholas Roerich, Abanindranath and Gaganendranath Tagore, Jamini Roy and Sailoz Mookherjea) which were auctioned off (all nine lots), only 25 per cent of the contemporary works (four out of 16 lots) sold. This signals a serious maturity of the market , and a vindication of Osian’s position that first and foremost historically significant art must gain financial credibility, only then can the contemporary market emerge with financial confidence.
Also 55 per cent of the Bengal Modern Masters such as Ganesh Pyne, Ganesh Haloi, Paritosh Sen, Bikash Bhattacharjee sold (11 out of 20 lots) and 61 per cent of the Progressive Artists Group (Souza, Raza, Ara, Husain, Gade and Bakre) found buyers (11 out of 18 lots) at the auction. Select thematic works were also hugely sought after as 89 per cent of Landscapes (eight out of nine works) and 83 per cent of Christ and the Crucifixion related works (five out of six works) were sold. The auction registered an average lot price of Rs. 27.14 lakh. While the continuing economic recession has concerned players in the art market for the last 18 to 24 months, the relatively strong support from both the national and international collector is a good sign of the recovery in this market.
Osian’s Auction Hits High Note (Economic Times)