Utpal Borpujari

June 12, 2009

Have crores to spare? – bid online to buy Gaitonde, Hussein paintings

By Utpal Borpujari

If you are a serious art collector and have Rs 1.25-Rs 1.75 crore to spare, here’s a chance to acquire a painting by the reclusive V S Gaitonde.

Or, one can spend Rs 70.5-94 lakh for a Subodh Gupta work, Rs 70-80 lakh for a Maqbool Fida Hussein creation or Rs 45-55 lakh for an Akbar Padamsee’s art.

By the time you read this, 85 works of art by 57 contemporary Indian artists might have already been picked up by intrepid art collectors through an online auction organised by art auction house Saffronart with the target of raising between Rs 11 crore and Rs 13.9 crore.

The other prominent names whose work are being auctioned are Ram Kumar, Arpita Singh, Jogen Chowdhury, Hema Upadhyay, Anju Dodiya and Riyas Komu.

The annual summer online auction by Saffronart, according to those involved with the process, is aimed at both seasoned art collectors as well as first-time buyers, and the work on offer have been carefully selected and competitively priced.

“Saffronart has always been keen on making important works of highly prized Indian artists available to collectors around the world. Today, collectors have become very selective. Keeping this in mind, we have carefully edited this sale, and are committed to presenting extraordinary works at competitive prices,” says Saffronart CEO Dinesh Vazirani.

“This auction promises to entice new collectors with a number of historically and aesthetically significant works by recognised modernists and younger, contemporary artists,” he says.

The catalogue accompanying the auction has on its front cover of the catalogue is an important 1984 canvas by Gaitonde, one of India ’s foremost modern painters who is remembered for the independence, fastidiousness and minimalism of his creative process.

Another significant work on offer is Padamsee’s untitled canvas from his ‘Metascape’ series, which Padamsee described as elemental microcosms of the universe and its basic constituents that transcend the convolutions of existence as we know and experience it.

The sale further includes is an untitled 2006 canvas by Subodh Gupta, where the artist juxtaposes the polished with the tarnished, the new with the old, bringing into focus the dualistic quality of stainless steel, and, by extension, the dualities of life in India following the country’s dramatic economic liberalization in the 1990s.

Also featuring in the auction is contemporary artist Hema Upadhyay’s landmark mixed-media work on paper, “Bleeding Hearts”, which combines personal with the political, raising issues of loss, disenchantment and dislocation in modern urban life and, more generally, questions of security and survival in today’s violent world.

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 12-06-2009)



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