Tyeb Mehta's painting 'Kali' fetches whopping Rs 26.4 crores

'Kali' is one of the only three standing figures painted by Mehta.

Tyeb Mehta's painting 'Kali' fetches whopping Rs 26.4 crores
IANS Photo

New Delhi: Indian painter Tyeb Mehta's monumental 1989 Untitled work 'Kali', fetched a whopping Rs 26.4 crores at Saffronart's recent 'Milestone 200th Auction', setting a new world record for the artist. 

One of the only three standing figures painted by Mehta, the artwork, initially estimated at Rs 19.8 crores, surpassed his previous international record when his 1994 Untitled (Woman on rickshaw) painting sold for Rs 22.99 crores at a 2017 Christie's auction. 

"The sale of Tyeb Mehta's Kali marks an important achievement in modern Indian art sales," Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and co-founder of Saffronart, said. 

With 85 per cent lots sold, the auction achieving total sales of Rs 75 crores, also set world records for five other artists -- N S Bendre, M V Dhurandhar, Sankho Chaudhuri, Sheila Makhijani and Dhananjay Singh.

While Bendre's Untitled (1974) work sold for Rs 1.32 crores surpassing its initial estimate of Rs 40-60 lakhs, Dhurandhar's impressive watercolour painting, "Tarabai ? Founder of the Kolhapur Confederacy" (1927) surpassed its initial estimate of Rs 9.9-13.2 lakhs, fetching Rs 60.98 lakhs. 

A bronze sculpture by Chaudhuri sold for Rs 39.9 lakhs against an estimate of Rs 15-20 lakhs and Makhijani's "What Were You Thinking" (2007) sold for Rs 14 lakhs against a pre-sale estimate of Rs 10-15 lakhs.

Singh's "The Last Tree" (2013), estimated at Rs 25.35 lakhs, sold Rs 37.3 lakhs. 

"In our 18 years as India's leading auction house, our focus has been to make the best of Indian art accessible to audiences around the world. 

"With its strong sale results and new world records, Saffronart's 200th auction has paved the way forward for Indian art auctions," Vazirani said. 

The top lots of the sale also featured big names from the Indian art scene like V S Gaitonde, Raja Ravi Varma, S H Raza, Manjit Bawa, Akbar Padamsee and Subodh Gupta.

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