The Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale at Sotheby’s London kicked off London’s inaugural Indian and Islamic week on 7 October and achieved the highest total of the season for any sale in this category. Totalling £4,697,975 (463,889,004 INR), the sale was led by Tyeb Mehta’s stunning Blue Painting, 1982, a key transitional work by the towering Indian modernist, bought by an anonymous bidder for £1,118,500 (110,443,298 INR) and nearly doubling its low estimate.
Another important work by a member of India’s ground-breaking Bombay Progressive Artists' Group also smashed its pre-sale estimate: Akbar Padamsee’s iconic Prophet I, 1952 fetched more than three-times the low estimate when it sold for £530,500 (52,382,807 INR).
A new world record was set for any work at auction by the Delhi-based artist Mrinalini Mukherjee. Mukherjee’s large-scale suspended figure made from woven hemp, Sri (Deity), 1982 was bought by an Indian collector for £98,500 (9,726,120 INR).
We are delighted to announce the launch of ‘India and Islamic Week’ at Sotheby’s London featuring three sales: Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, Art of Imperial India, and Arts of the Islamic World. From 3 to 7 October the entire London premises will be devoted to Indian and Islamic art. During this time we will be running a dedicated Indian Afternoon Tea in association with Newby teas at our Café.
The last 20 years have seen quite a dramatic change in the market for Indian and South Asian art, and as a result the values have significantly increased. We have seen record prices achieved, and a continued demand for good-quality paintings with a notable provenance. Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sales are the most prestigious in the auction calendar, reserved for the very best works on the market. The auction will be taking place on 7 October and is a part of this high-profile India Week.
The sale will feature fresh-to-the-market works that have never been offered at auction before. The auction includes paintings by notable modern masters including Maqbool Fida Husain, Sayed Haider Raza, Francis Newton Souza and Akbar Padamsee to name a few. Stellar contemporary art by leading Indian and Pakistani artists will also be available, including works by Rashid Rana, Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher.