In March 2009, an auction of Modern and Contemporary Indian art by Mumbai-based online auction house Saffronart yielded a relatively low winning value: Rs7.8 crore in 69 lots.
Blame it on the slowdown, because as curators, Saffronart’s Dinesh and Minaal Vazirani have seasoned aesthetic. With a higher total estimate valued at Rs13.9 crore, their annual summer auction begins Wednesday and ends on Thursday evening. Modern and Contemporary artists—from M.F. Husain and V.S. Gaitonde to Subodh Gupta, Hema Upadhyay and Chitra Ganesh—feature in the collection that is a mix of the classic and the experimental.
As in all auctions of Modern Indian art the world over, the quiet, minimalist works of Gaitonde is the most expensive work on sale. It’s a 1984 canvas representative of the meticulous layering that the artist is synonymous with. Akbar Padamsee’s Metascape series is famous for its rugged, sweeping landscapes. Among work by newer artists is a comic book-inspired pop print by Ganesh, a classic steel-utensil-populated Gupta and a Warholian, psychedelic work of acrylic and hologram on canvas by Justin Ponmany.
Here is a preview of the 10 highest estimated works going under the hammer:
1) An untitled work by V.S. Gaitonde (1984): oil on canvas. Estimated price: Rs1.25 crore-1.75 crore.
2) An untitled work by Subodh Gupta (2006): oil on canvas. Estimated price: Rs70.5 lakh-94 lakh.
3) An untitled work by M.F. Husain: oil on canvas. Estimated price: Rs70 lakh-80 lakh.
4) An untitled work by Ram Kumar (1996): acrylic on canvas. Estimated price: Rs50 lakh-60 lakh.
5) An untitled work by Arpita Singh (1995): oil on canvas. Estimated price: Rs47 lakh-58.7 lakh.
6) An untitled work by Akbar Padamsee (2007): oil on canvas. Estimated price: Rs45 lakh-55 lakh.
7) Spring by Ram Kumar (1961): oil on canvas. Estimated price: Rs37.6 lakh-47 lakh.
8) An untitled work by Jogen Chowdhry (2004): Pen and ink with pastel on paper. Estimated price: Rs35 lakh-45 lakh.
9) Landscape with Red Houses by F.N.. Souza (1953): oil on board. Estimated price: Rs32.9 lakh-37.6 lakh
10) Kundalini by S.H. Raza (2006): acrylic on canvas. Estimated price: Rs30.5 lakh-35.2 lakh.