7th Sept, 2007

Saffronart Indian art auction fetches over $3 million
Mumbai, Sep 7 (IANS) The Saffronart autumn online auction of contemporary Indian art works brought in over $3.6 million (Rs.145 million) with 97 of the 115 works sold, 60 percent of them on the higher benchmark.

The auction held Sep 5-6 featured 115 works by 43 artists of Indian contemporary art. This auction was the 18th in the series by Saffronart and saw very competitive bidding. The sale was launched through previews at Saffronart in New York and Mumbai.

On the cover of the catalogue was Atul Dodiya's 'Chikoo Drawing', signed and dated in English (verso) 1989. This oil on canvas estimated at $150,000-200,000 went for over $300,000 (Rs.12.7 million)

This work captures a young boy drawing on the wall with chalk. Though his current work is often three-dimensional, Atul Dodiya was initially fascinated by the idea of confining the three-dimensional to the two dimensions of his canvas.

On the back cover was the work of Delhi's Damien Hirst, Subodh Gupta. His 2004 oil on canvas is an untitled work estimated at $100,000-125,000. It went under the hammer for over $245,000.

'The momentum in the market is back,' says Dinesh Vazirani, director of Saffronart. 'We saw a crossover of sorts with a lot of non-Indian buyers from France, Germany and Italy coming in to take part in the furious bidding,' he said here.

Drawing mainly from everyday objects and scenarios, Gupta's aesthetic blends the complex inter-relations of India's urban and rural communities.

His second work that symbolises the traveller at the airport shows the effects of consumerism and modernization. This work went for over $228,000.

Fifteen new records were set in this auction and among them were Baiju Parthan, Shibu Natesan and Riyas Komu.

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