Contemporary, modern mix at Sotheby’s first exhibition in India

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) International auction house Sotheby’s has rare contemporary works by American Andy Warhol, German Gerhard Richter and Chinese Zao Wou-Ki, along with legendary modern Indian artists like M.F. Husain and Bhupen Khakhar for its first exhibition in India that opened here Friday.

The day-long exhibition has been curated to allow Indian collectors to view selected highlights from Sotheby’s forthcoming London sale of contemporary art, alongside highlights from its New York sale of modern and contemporary South Asian art.
“We are so thrilled to bring a variety of artworks to India which we feel will cause real excitement in the marketplace. We believe there is a real hunger among Indian collectors to experience well-known international contemporary artists,” Yamini Mehta, senior director, Sotheby’s international head of modern and contemporary South Asian Art, London and New York, said in a statement.
The exhibition has not come as a surprise, especially after Christie’s scintillating debut auction in Mumbai in December, 2013, in which modernist painter V.S. Gaitonde’s painting was sold for a record Rs.23.7 crore ($3.7 million).
Indian art market is recovering slowly, but steadily, making it the second-best destination in Asia after China for international auction houses and potential buyers.
The Sotheby’s exhibition will be open for public till evening at Imperial Hotel at Connaught Place, where have been mounted works from Warhol’s iconic “Dollar Sign” estimated between 180,000-250,000 pounds. Wou-Ki’s abstraction and figuration marvel is estimated at 300,000-400,000 pounds and British artist David Hockney’s self-portrait is estimated at 150,000-200,000 pounds.
Making their presence felt in this contemporary oeuvre are modern Indian artists, among which, leading the race, is Khakhar’s landscape painting “Buffalo Among Flower Bed” estimated at $150,000-200,000, followed by Husain’s dynamic “Untitled” (Three Horses) estimated at $100,000-150,000, and Ram Kumar’s early abstract “Untitled” estimated at $80,000-120,000.