• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 21 March 2018

RESULTS: South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

SALE TOTAL: USD$10,289,250

(£7,333,749 / €8,367,808 / HK$80,348,546) 


New York—Christie’s sale of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art on March 21 in New York totaled $10,289,250 (£7,333,749 / €8,367,808 / HK$80,348,546), the highest sale total achieved for the category this season, with 83% sold by lot. There was active participation from registered bidders across 21 countries from all sales channels.

The top lot of the sale was a masterpiece by Syed Haider Raza, Tapovan, painted in 1972, which realized $4,452,500, setting a new world auction record for the artist and establishing the highest price paid for a work by a modern Indian artist, surpassing the previous category record set by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde for his Untitled, 1995, sold for $4.38 million at Christie’s Mumbai in December 2015.

Nishad Avari, Specialist and Head of Sale, comments: “This auction was a landmark sale setting a new category record for Raza’s seminal Tapovan and the highest sale total for the category this season. It has been extremely exciting to witness the momentum build during the touring exhibitions in Mumbai, New Delhi and London culminating with the strong auction results witnessed in the saleroom today. The prices realized reinforce the market’s global reach and appetite for masterpiece level work. This sale has truly demonstrated the strength of our international team in its collaborative business-getting with colleagues in Christie’s offices in Mumbai, London, and New York.”

Other notable results included Tyeb Mehta, Two Figures, painted in 1994, which realized $1,812,500; Francis Newton Souza, The Politicians, painted in 1959, which realized $444,500; and Ranjani Shettar, Remenence from Last Night's Dream, executed in 2011, which realized $100,000, setting a world auction record for the artist who is currently showing an installation at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

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