03rd Mar 2005

Husain work sells for Rs 76 lakh at auction M.F. Husain The art market hit new highs at the Saffronart Spring Online Auction which concluded on Wednesday. M F Husain's vintage 1967 oil on canvas Lady With A Lamp sold for Rs 76 lakh'the highest price that a Husain has sold for in an auction so far. This time Husain had company'four other artists also sold for record prices. Jehangir Sabavala's misty and layered Of Tree And Trees, a 1978 work, went for Rs 32 lakh. K G Subramanyan's Odd Encounters, a blue work fraught in tension, sold for Rs 19 lakh. Krishen Khanna's Indianised Last Supper sold for Rs 37 lakh. And, in what Dinesh Vazirani, Saffronart co-owner, calls the biggest surprise of all, Akbar Padamsee's bright red impasto head sold for Rs 43 lakh.

Apart from these record prices, not a single of the 45 lots of the nine contemporary masters went unsold. A Raza paperwork sold for Rs 30 lakh and Emperor (1961) by Souza, who is an auction favourite, went for Rs 46 lakh. Two other Husains, a Saraswati and a horse, sold for Rs 43 lakh and Rs 42 Lakh respectively. The total sales amounted to $2 million. While a substantial number of the 150 bidders were from abroad'the US, Dubai, Japan, Germany Singapore and Hong Kong- there were some serious Indian buyers too.

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