New Delhi, June 12: An untitled painting of Mahishasura by Tyeb Mehta was sold to an Asian institution for $2.1 million (Rs.120 million) at a Christie’s South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale in London Monday, the auction house said.
The auction, which offered paintings by modern masters like S.H. Raza, Rameshwar Broota, M.F. Husain, Bharti Kher and Manjit Bawa sold mostly to Asian trade institutions and archives, indicating a resurgence in institutional buying, the auction house said.
Archival and institutional purchase of art has shown a marked increase after the 2008 economic meltdown and price correction.
Individual collectors are cautious about buying art while several art trade insitutions and private archives, which have sprung across thecontinent as part of a ongoing art infrastructure building wave, have taken over from collectors. Collectors are increasingly donating their personal collections to auction houses, private and art promotions and trade platforms. Christie’s has auctioned several personal collections in the last three months.
Yamini Mehta, Christie’s director and senior specialist in Indian art, said: ‘The sale performed well across the board with works which were fresh to the market and from private collections securing strong prices.’
She said the auction ‘demonstrated the breadth of demand for the category, with collectors, institutions and dealersfrom Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East to Europe and the US’.
‘Tyeb Mehta and the modern masters, including S.H. Raza. continued to attract healthy competition,’ she said.
Raza’s Clocher du Village, sold for $746,397 and an untitled work by Rameshwar Broota was picked up by an European collector for $188,004.
A selection of avant garde art from Pakistan drew aggressive response at the auction.