Saffronart auction shows resurgence in Indian art market
September event sold 77% of 95 lots
By Lucian Harris. Web only
Published online: 21 September 2009
mumbai. The autumn auction at Saffronart on 9-10 September gave focus to a cautious resurgence in the Indian art market. The Mumbai-based online auction sold 77% of 95 lots, with 34 passing high estimate. Nine of the top ten lots were by post-war Progressive Group artists, with the highest price of $391,000 bid for an untitled landscape diptych by Akbar Padamsee from 1995, comfortably past its upper estimate of $350,000. Close behind, F.N. Souza’s Old City Landscape, painted in 1957 when the artist was in Paris, made $379,500 (est $300,000-$500,000). The only contemporary work to make the top ten was an untitled 2006 kitchenware painting by Subodh Gupta, which sold for $209,875 (est $175,000-$225,000), a telling contrast to the $1.5m that a similar work made last summer. According to Saffronart director Minal Vazirani, the auction showed consolidation in a market looking for equilibrium, with around 60% domestic buyers and notable new interest coming from South East Asia.
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