Syed Raza sets new record

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2010, 20:28 PM IST

New Delhi: Syed Haidar Raza, modern Indian painter, has fetched Rs 4.07 crore for one of his earliest works "Bharatiya Samaroh" which topped the recent Saffronart`s 2010 autumn online auction.

Held on September 9-10, the auction which offered a collection of 90 works by 43 modern and contemporary Indian artists, registered 70 percent sales grossing Rs 29 crores, a tad short of the lowest total pre-sale estimate of Rs 29.5 crores.

Influenced by European painters such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso and Gaugain, Raza had over the years created a style of his own. The "Bharatiya Samaroh", is one of his earliest and largest fractured geometric paintings which highlights distinct symbols in differently patterned squares coming together to form a whole construct.

His 1998 canvas fetched Rs 4.07 crore more than the expected higher estimate of Rs 3.72 crore. Raza had previously in June this year set a world auction record for modern Indian art when his 1983 painting "Saurashtra" was sold at Christie`s London for USD 3,486,965 (Rs 16,2387474.7).

It broke the previous record held by the master artist for "La Terre" which sold for Rs Rs 8.56 crore on June 30, 2008.

While Saffronart`s auction itself fell short of its pegged total high estimate of Rs 39 crores, 51 per cent of the lots were auctioned in competitive bidding for more than their higher estimate.

The top lots include Jogen Chowdhury`s "Couple I - Man and Woman" which sold for Rs. 1.60 crores (USD 354,583) and F N Souza`s "Last Howl from the Cross" which sold for for Rs. 1.55 crores (USD 345,000).

"We are very happy with the response... The sale saw strong prices achieved across the board as well as sustained bidding from serious and mature collectors and this is a very positive message for the market," Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder Saffronart, said in a statement.

"The art market continues to show strength and we will continue to witness interest in the works of renowned Indian artists in the coming auctions. Our performance is testament to our focus on presenting some of the best Modern and Contemporary Indian art to the world."

Eight lots auctioned for more than Rs 1 crore, including works by S H Raza, M F Husain, Jogen Chowdhury, Subodh Gupta, F N Souza, G Ravinder Reddy, Jehangir Sabavala and Manjit Bawa.

Leading contemporary artist Subodh Gupta`s "Untitled" work sold for Rs 1.22 crores (USD 271,400) while G. Ravinder Reddy`s "Untitled" iconic sculpture of a woman`s head saw intense competition and crossed the Rs 1 crore mark closing at Rs 1.15 crores (USD 256,197).

Following the successful world record sale by Saffronart in its summer sale for Jehangir Sabavala`s work "The Casuarina Line I", this season`s offering of Jehangir Sabavala included an earlier canvas work titled `Icarus` which also crossed the Rs 1 crore mark closing at Rs 1.16 crores (USD 258,762).

PTI