Indian Art Totals $1,748,500 in Sotheby's Spring Sales in New York, May 14-15, 2008 Yesterday evening and today at Sotheby’s, works by Indian artists totaled $1,748,500, exceeding expectations, in Sotheby’s spring series of Contemporary Art sales in New York.
ADDITIONAL RECORD SET FOR PAKISTANI ARTIST RASHID RANA
New York, New York, May 15, 2008 – Yesterday evening and today at Sotheby’s, works by Indian artists totaled $1,748,500, exceeding expectations, in Sotheby’s spring series of Contemporary Art sales in New York. The offering was highlighted by a work by Subodh Gupta, one of the most important Contemporary artists to emerge from India in a generation, Saat Samunder Paar VII, 2003, which achieved $825,000, a record for the artist at auction (lot 71, est. $500/700,000*), in the Evening sale. The work comes from a series the artist completed in 2003 entitled Saat samundar paar, or “Across the Seven Seas”. In these works, Subodh depicts scenes from bustling airports, thereby tapping into a theme central to his entire oeuvre: man’s experience in contemporary society. A sculpture by Gupta, Untitled, 2006, also brought $193,000 in the Day sale (est. $80/120,000). Works by Anish Kapoor, T.V. Santosh, Chintan Upadhyay, Riyas Komu, Raqib Shaw and Bose Krishnamachari also brought strong prices. In October 2007, Sotheby’s set a record for any Indian work of art sold at auction when Raqib Shaw’s Garden of Earthly Delights III sold for $5.4 million (over £2.7 million) in its Contemporary Evening Art sale in London (£400/600,000).
Scott Nussbaum, Specialist in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art department, commented: “Zara Porter Hill, Sotheby’s Head of Indian and Southeast Asian Art, and I are thrilled at the strong prices achieved across the board for works by Indian artists in our series of sales, which was an outstanding team effort. Interest was global for these works, demonstrated by the record prices achieved for works by Subodh Gupta and Pakistani artist Rashid Rana.”
Highlighting the offering of other works by Contemporary Indian artists in the Day sale of Contemporary Art was Anish Kapoor’s lacquered bronze sculpture Blood Solid, 2001, which sold for $301,000 (lot 462, $250/350,000). Sotheby’s set the record for a work by Kapoor at auction in its November 2007 Evening sale of Contemporary Art when it sold an Untitled work for $2.8 million.
Other strong prices were represented by T.V. Santosh’s Test II, 2005, which achieved $157,000 (lot 446, est. $60/80,000); Raqib Shaw’s Untitled, 2004, which sold for $91,000 (lot 443, est. $40/60,000); Riyas Komu’s Systematic Citizen XIV, 2006, which realized $79,000 (lot 452, est. $40/60,000); Chintan Upadhyay’s Smart Alec, 2007, brought $73,000 (lot 501, est. $40/60,000); and Bose Krishnamachari’s Untitled (Stretched Bodies), circa 2006, which brought $39,400 (lot 447, est. $20/30,000).
The sale also featured a stunning work by Pakistani contemporary artist Rashid Rana, Red Carpet-1, 2007, which sold for $623,400, a record for the artist at auction (lot 475, est. $100/150,000). Working in photomontage, Rashid culls his ideas and images from a variety of sources. He uses carefully selected angles to photograph his subjects and then combines multiple images to create skillfully constructed compositions that belie the inherent three-dimensionality of their component images. Here, as elsewhere in the artist’s work, the juxtaposition of the beautiful with the