The artworks by N S Bendre, M V Dhurandhar and Krishen Khanna generated the total sale value of more than INR 93 crores, setting a world record.
Four Indian artists created a world record at the recently concluded AstaGuru’s Modern Indian Art Online Auction. The line-up included 41 iconic modern Indian masterpieces. Among these works were Tyeb Mehta’s two paintings, namely, ‘Figure With Bird’ and ‘Diagonal’ series, that made a huge impression. While ‘Figure With Bird’, executed in 1987 in the artist’s signature style, was realised at the value of INR ₹ 24,27,24,824 (US$ 3,324,997), the famous ‘Diagonal’ series was acquired at INR15,93,52,869 (US$ 2,182,915).
Other masterpieces that set a world record were works of N S Bendre, M V Dhurandhar and Krishen Khanna. These garnered the total sale value of INR 93,18,78,408 (US$ 12,765,436).
N S Bendre, Untitled, circa 1980, achieved a world record price. It was sold for INR 6,66,63,372 (US$ 913,197). An untitled vintage work by revered old master M V Dhurandhar generated the highest sale value ever achieved at an auction for the artist with INR 5,90,59,517 (US$ 809,034). This resplendent work, dates back to 1921, depicted a congregation of Hindu deities amidst alluring landscape.
Krishen Khanna’s 10-feet-long untitled work was sold at a world record price of INR 3,84,78,138 (US$ 527,097). The painting from the year 1980 was executed in the artist’s signature style colour palette composed of reds, maroons and browns.
Besides these paintings, an untitled artwork of eminent modernist Jehangir Sabavala was also auctioned and acquired at an impressive value of INR 9,36,61,442 (US$ 1,283,033). This 1974 piece was executed during a period when the artist was focused on creating art with a subdued colour palette, predominantly featuring tones of grey, brown and green.
The auction also included several important works from different stages of legendary modernist M F Husain’s career. Untitled (BhagavadGita) depicts an important chapter towards the end of Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’. The 1994 work was executed in a minimalist style with only three colours, the canvas shows Bhishma Pitamah on the bed of arrows. It was acquired at a value of INR 5,69,25,000 (US$ 779,794).
A beautiful landscape work created by F N Souza was executed during his years in the UK. Reminiscent of Victorian style architecture, the painting titled ‘Manor House’ from the year 1957 was acquired for INR 4,54,60,305 (US$ 622,743).
Rameshwar Broota’s ‘Man,’ was acquired at INR 1,87,85,250 (US$ 257,332). The stellar collection also showcased Avant-Garde works by more distinguished Indian modernists including Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, Sailoz Mookherjea, Ramkinkar Baij, Jogen Chowdhury, S H Raza, Ram Kumar, K H Ara, H A Gade, Prabhakar Barwe, B Prabha, Ganesh Pyne, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Satish Gujral, Himmat Shah, Anjolie Ela Menon, Manu Parekh, and Thota Vaikuntam.
Speaking about the results, Sunny Chandiramani, Vice President – Client Relations, AstaGuru Auction House said, “With milestone creations by modern Indian artists, the auction featured several works which made their auction debut. The overwhelming response underscores the continued demand for works by the modernists that are new to the auction market and have great provenance. Moreover, three world records including a hundred-year-old painting by M V Dhurandhar absolutely affirms our commitment to bring the best that Indian modernism has to offer.”