21st Apr 2005

Saffronart hopes to draw in $2m from May auction

Frontline domestic art auctioneer, Saffronart is going with a hefty overall pre-sale estimate on the lower side of $1.8m for its May '05 auction. At the higher rung of the scale, the estimate is pegged at $2.1m. The sale, which will field 145 lots, embraces a whole range of painters.

The modernists are led by Tyeb Mehta, FN Souza, SH Raza, MF Husain, Ram Kumar and Akbar Padamsee.

Among the younger lot of contemporary painters are Atul Dodiya, Chitravanu Mazumdar, Baiju Parthan and Shibu Natesan. Jagannath Panda, Sudarshan Shetty, Manisha Parekh, A Balasubramaniam and Justin Ponmany are some who will feature on an auction platform for the first time.

Saffronart is also putting at least 7 mixed-media, wall-mounted installations under the hammer. These cover works by Atul Dodiya, Sudarshan Shetty, Vivan Sundaram and Bose Krishnamachari.

'We have aimed to have a broad variety of artists this time, combining both senior and young artists. The top-end names are very strong on the price front and attract bidders who can afford such works. At the same time, we also have paintings which are priced between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh,' Dinesh Vazirani, director of Saffronart, told ET.

A look at some of highlights of sale would throw up a Husain dating back to the 1960s estimated at Rs 14-16 lakh, while another Husain from his 'Paris Suite' series sports an estimate of Rs 30-35 lakh. Raza's 'Garba Graha' belonging to the 'Bindu' series is priced at Rs 35-40 lakh, while an old work from the 1960s is estimated at Rs 8-10 lakh.

Two Souza works, one titled 'Laplace ' Town's Square' is pegged at Rs 25-30 lakh and the other, a 1963 erotic painting called 'The Remark' is estimated at Rs 28-32 lakh. Tyeb Mehta, who is appearing in an auction after quite a gap, has a painting titled 'Kali' which commands an estimate of Rs 40-48 lakh.

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