Last week, Saffronart held their Summer auction with the Tyeb Mehta’s Kali as the lead lot. Saffron previously sold the work eleven years ago for nearly $1m. This time around the painting made just about $4m. That’s not a bad return especially considering that the market for South Asian art had cratered for a time in the interim.
Saffronart held a life evening sale last month that had a strong result. More impressive still was the day sale where all 70 lots sold for an additional $880,525.
The Hindu’s Business Line looks at the Indian art market and provides us with this handy chart of the top vendors in the space. Like all other art markets, there’s been a crowding at the top around works that are considered the very best from the most established names (and a few names finally making it into the top rank:)
In 2008, when the investment-driven art market crashed, 70 per cent of the Indian art market was led by contemporaries and only 30 per cent by masters. “Today, it is 90 per cent masters. […],” said Ajay Seth, Chief Mentor, Copal Art. […]
“For the last three years, the auction houses’ trend has been that 80 per cent of lots sold are related to masters,” says Seth.
In India, a wider number of masters (besides Husain, Raza and Souza) are not only appearing more frequently at various auctions but are also creating new benchmarks. “We have many examples, such as Jehangir Sabavala, Akbar Padamsee, to name a few. Indian masters are getting wider acceptability,” adds Seth.
In a Slowing Economy, Masterpieces Flourish (The Hindu Business Line)