Giving art collectors a reason to smile and splurge across the world, UK’s Christie’s — presently the world’s largest fine-arts auction house — that has curated antiques of all sorts over the past two centuries, is making their debut in the Indian art market on December 19.
The auction will be held at the Taj Mahal Palace on the occasion of the hotel’s completion of 110 years. The auction will focus on south Asian modern art with an exclusive collection of rare paintings, sketches and sculptures in terracotta and bronze.
“We are looking forward to tracing the history of Indian art since Rabindranath Tagore and Amrita Sher-gil, with works dating back to the early 20th century. Sher-gil’s paintings are rare and have hardly been auctioned. This will be her sixth painting to ever be auctioned,” says Hugo Weihe, international director of Asian art, Christie’s. When asked why it took so long for them to hold an auction here (they have had an office here since 1994), Weihe, who will also be the auctioneer, says, “We were studying the market. We were waiting for the right time, and I think the time is good now. We want to expand our market and bring in more collectors.”
It took Christie’s team almost a year to put together 83 collectibles which are expected to generate around `45 crore.
“Apart from Tagore and Sher-gil, we also have art pieces by artists Vasudeo S Gaitonde, Ram Kumar, SH Raza, Tyeb Mehta, MF Husain and Jamini Roy, from city-based renowned gallerists Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy’s collection,” adds Weihe. The auction will be held on December 19, at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba, from 10 am onwards.