Souza rules roost in Saffronart auction
The Saffronart May online auction featured 150 works by 41 Indian artists and raked a total sales value of $12.9 million with FN Souza the top selling artist with his "Landscape in Orange" going for a hefty $687,500.india Updated: May 12, 2006 17:04 IST
The Saffronart May online auction featured 150 works by 41 Indian artists and raked a total sales value of $12.9 million with FN Souza the top selling artist with his "Landscape in Orange" going for a hefty $687,500.
Besides, Souza, the top five bids belonged to Tyeb Mehta, SH Raza, Akbar Padamsee and MF Husain.
The auction on Wednesday and Thursday of modern Indian artworks is the 13th in the series to take place on www.saffronart.com.
Souza's most integral work in the auction was his coveted "Landscape in Orange", an erudite oil on canvas estimated at $250,000-300,000 that went for $687,500, absolutely way over the top estimate.
Souza's landscape in moody vermilion "Untitled Pink City", an oil on board estimated at $170,000-225,000, went for a steep $313,500.
What sure set the paddles of the bidders rising was Souza's "The Priest" that finally came down for $357,500.
Progressive artist Ram Kumar's recent landscapes "Untitled", a sombre-hued work done in 1989 went for an admirable $$335,775, while his 2001 landscape which was estimated at $80,000-90,000 went for $165,000.
His landscape done in 2002, however, estimated at $93,050-116,300 went for $182,075.
Other than that, there was Akbar Padamsee's untitled metascape estimated at $350,000-450,000 that went for a fabulous $616,000.
A rare single was J. Swaminthan's "Untitled" oil on canvas estimated at $174,500-197,700, which finally went for $$208,560.
From the Bengal school was Jogen Chowdhury's "Situation X", an oil on canvas estimated at $81,400-93,050 that saw a happy high of $338,059.
His second work, "Man In Bed", went for a high of $110,000.
Doyen of Shantiniketan, KG Subramanyan's oil on board "Head 2" fetched a whopping $40,086.
His acrylics also fetched a wonderful $108,900 and $25,850, respectively.
Paritosh Sen's "Gujarati Woman at the Spinning Wheel" got a stupendous winning bid of $61,294, while his second work of a woman playing the esraj also got a good price of $20,460.
From Delhi, there was Rameshwar Broota's early work "Reconstruction". This was an oil on canvas estimated at $80,000-90,000 that got $199,650. Anjolie Ela Menon's early oil of 1975 went for $101,475 while her second work done in 1974 went for $71,948.
Last year at its May auction, Saffronart swung sales of $3.7 million. This equalled the record touched by Christie's for Indian contemporary art at its March 2005 sale.
This year it raked in $12.9 million. But is an auction only about selling? Saffronart falls woefully short of completing the auction result criteria. Compared to Christies and Sotheby's, Saffronart seem somewhat lackadaisical.
All writers and critics have to go to Saffronart websites and collate information, which becomes tedious and tiring.
An auction house's professionalism depends on the proficiency and efficiency of collating and distributing its own result in a fraction of time-span.
First Published: May 12, 2006 17:04 IST