Monday, November 29, 1999

More Tagore art on auction

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After paintings by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore were snapped up for a record 1.6 million pounds in Sotheby's recent London auction, another upcoming auction is including art by the Tagores in its repertoire of rare and historical works by modern masters."101 Rare Artworks from the History of Indian Modern and Contemporary Art" by Osian's - Connoisseurs of Art is scheduled to take place on June 23 in Mumbai this month.Tagged between Rs 24 to Rs 35 crores, the 101 works of art include modern masters such as the Tagores, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, F N Souza, S H Raza, Ganesh Pyne, Tyeb Mehta, M F Husain, V S Gaitonde, J Swaminathan, Rameshwar Broota, Jogen Chowdhury, and Bhupen Khakhar.A few works by contemporary artists such as Atul Dodiya, Anju Dodiya and Subodh Gupta also figure in sales by the auction house which is marking its 10th year of operations.Commenting on the auction and the market in general, Neville Tuli, Founder-Chairman Osian's says, "As the market slowly consolidates, a sustained and much deeper growth is now expected over the next 12 to 18 months, as the long term stability of Indian art and its short term liquidity problems are better understood by the market."This will lead to a more sustainable appreciation, especially regarding the high quality works by our modern masters."A very rare watercolour on paper from the Chaitanya Series by Gaganendranath Tagore has been pegged between Rs 1,800,000 - Rs 2,700,000.Other auction highlights include an oil on canvass "Italian Landscape" by F N Souza (1961) estimated between Rs 9,000,000 - Rs 13,500,000 and "Crucifixion" an early charcoal work by Tyeb Mehta estimated between Rs 3,600,000 - Rs 5,400,000."Today, all the major international institutions wish to include top quality Indian modern and contemporary art within their museum collections, and the impact of this purchasing policy along with a vast new influx of Indian domestic collectors will provide a major impetus to the market. The artworks in our celebrating 10 years auction represent some of the very best examples of Indian modern art and will definitely do very well, especially as Christie's has already created a good momentum for the June season" adds Neville Tuli."Queue", a 1970s oil on canvas by Rameshwar Broota from his chimpanzee series estimated between Rs 7,200,000 - Rs 10,800,000 expresses the absolute power which his creatures can exercise over ordinary mortals.A rare 1991 acrylic on wood by M F Husain estimated between Rs 2,400,000 - Rs 3,600,000 is another highlight of the auction.

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