New Delhi: Online auction house Astaguru recently concluded the ‘Modern Treasures’ sale created a new world record for six Indian artists — Ganesh Pyne, KH Ara, Homi Bhabha, B Prabha, Thota Vaikuntam, Dhanraj Bhagat — as it achieved a white glove result (a sale where all lots are sold) generating a total value of Rs 64.71 crore.
The highest fetcher at the auction that offered an impressive compendium of celebrated artworks by leading modernists was a 1970 untitled large-scale work by MF Husain.
The acrylic on canvas work, touted to be an example of the many works the iconic artist created with the recurring motif of horses, commanded a whopping price of Rs 7.19 crore.
The second-highest total in the auction was realised for an exceptional creation by Ganesh Pyne. Executed in 1971 using tempera on canvas laid on board, “Winter Morning”, was sold at Rs 5.95 crore.
The artwork depicts a solemn figure of a child adorning a cape, capturing a powerful message about the child’s resilience in the face of poverty.
“The auction catalogue was meticulously curated to feature an exceptional collection of works by India’s revered modernists. Several of the works appeared in an auction for the first time and were enthusiastically acquired, which underscores the market’s continued growth.
“The result is also indicative of the fact that collectors eagerly anticipate and eagerly await more offerings, and when presented with a diverse and captivating collection, they are willing to go lengths to acquire historically significant artworks,” said Sunny Chandiramani, senior vice-president (client relations) at AstaGuru auction house.
Other significant highlights from the sale include two untitled oil on canvas works by Ram Kumar and J Swaminathan, sold at Rs 4.03 crore and 3.89 crore, respectively, and scientist Homi Bhabha’s 1960 artwork “Angels’ Concert…Homage To Mozart” which went for Rs 89.46 lakh.
“Scientist and artist Homi Bhabha’s work titled ‘Angels’ Concert….Homage To Mozart’ is an oil on canvas painting that brings together his two passions – art and music. It portrays a celestial scene where ethereal figures, resembling heavenly angels, are depicted as musicians, part of an orchestra,” read the description of the famous painting.
The auction also witnessed great interest for the 1960 large scale watercolour on paper work “Bathers” by KH Ara. Sold at Rs 3.22 crore, the work showcases Ara’s command over figuration and his preoccupation with the female nude.