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.
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