AstaGuru’s 100th auction sees 9 Modern Indian artists set world records

For its milestone 100th auction, AstaGuru showcased an exquisite array of rare works from different periods of modern art. From works by esteemed early modernists such as Jamini Roy, J P Gangooly, Amrita Sher-Gil, Sailoz Mookherjea, and N S Bendre, as well as stalwarts of the Progressive Artists’ Group including F N Souza, S H Raza, M F Husain, K H Ara, and others, the auction showcased works from several revered artists who shaped the narrative of Modern art in India in 20th. The auction was held on April 27-28, 2024. 

Siddanth Shetty, Chief Administrative Officer, AstaGuru Auction House, states that “We are thrilled to have reached this pivotal juncture in AstaGuru’s journey. The milestone auction is an important celebration and reflection on how over the years, AstaGuru has been at the forefront of fostering dialogue, appreciation, and acquisition of exceptional artworks. As it continues to evolve and innovate, AstaGuru reaffirms its position as a leading platform for collectors to acquire rare treasures from the oeuvre of Modern Indian Art. We hope to continue with our contribution in shaping the future trajectory of the art market within India and globally. Moreover, the landmark auction is a testament to the fact how works by Indian modernists are consistently sought after by collectors.”

The auction concluded with exceptional results and also created nine records. Here are some highlights of the world records created.

A work by British artist Benjamin Hudson was acquired by 71. 9 lakhs. The large scale painting is Hudson’s portrait of Rajah Pratap Chandra Sinha who belonged to the Sinha family of Paikpara.

A beautiful oil on canvas creation by artist J P Gangooly, was sold for 2.6 crores. A luminary of academic realism in Calcutta, artist Jamini Prakash Gangooly was a master painter known for his profoundly beautiful landscapes. Renowned for his exquisite portrayal of light and shade, Gangooly’s penchant for capturing the transient beauty of twilight hours set him apart. 

A work by one of India’s Navratna artists Sailoz Mookerjea, also created a world record after being acquired for 1.2 cores. An early pioneer of modern painting, Sailoz Mookherje though his thematic focus remained rooted in rural Indian life and landscapes. 

A beautiful painting depicting Krisha as a herdsman by K K Hebbar was acquired for a handsome value of 2.9 crores. Hebbar was first inspired by his father, who sculpted clay idols of Ganesha for festivities. His early introduction to traditional Indian painting and religious iconography folk art is evident in the presented lot, with his exploration of the iconic imagery of Krishna with his flute.

A work by artist A A Almelkar, lot no. 21,  was acquired for 37 lakhs. Almelkar’s artistic lineage was steeped in the rich tradition of stylized “Indian” paintings, characterised by intricate detailing and influences from the miniature art tradition.

A record was also created for a painting, from the ‘Pastoral’ series by artist Anjolie Ela Menon. The series is inspired by the studio she works out of in Nizammudin and the sights surrounding it. Her observations and reinterpretations of the scenes she sees translate into iconic imagery that is now synonymous with Menon. This work was acquired for 1.3 crores. 

A Neo-Tantric theme work by Biren De also achieved a world record after being sold for over 1 crore. Biren De’s ultimate goal throughout this exploration of consciousness was to arouse the psyche of not just himself but the viewers.

Another world record was achieved for a large scale creation, from Manu Parekh’s famous benares series which was sold for 2.3 crores.  This series of paintings that first began nearly 30 years ago are an expressionist take on Banaras. The artist concerns himself with energies and urges his viewers to observe the world through the lens of emotions present in his paintings.

A record was also made for artist Gurcharan Singh with his large-scale creation being sold for 37.6 lakhs. Singh’s work explores the intricate relationships between diverse elements that shape our world. Significantly, his paintings consistently feature a recurring theme of juxtaposing animals with prostitutes, serving as symbolic representations that unveil the primal nature inherent in humanity. 

The 100th auction also showcased works by several other artists, including Nicholas Roerich, Manjit Bawa, Akbar Padamsee, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Sakti Burman, Bhupen Khakhar, J Swaminathan, Ram Kumar, William Daniell, Paresh Maity, G R Santosh, B prabha, Ganesh Haloi, Satish Gujral, Bal Chhabda, Ganesh Pyne, K H Ara, and Rameshwar Broota amongst others. Please visit the AstaGuru to view the entire auction result.

About AstaGuru

AstaGuru Auction House was conceptualised in the year 2008 with the sole purpose of creating a safe and secure platform to conduct online auctions for Contemporary & Modern Indian Art. Over the years, AstaGuru has curated auctions encompassing diverse categories, our portfolio includes art, jewellery, fine silver, timepieces, textiles, celebrity memorabilia, rare books, numismatic, philately and vintage cars. In 2018, AstaGuru became the first Indian auction house to present an exclusive

edition for vintage and classic cars. “AstaGuru has strived to successfully bridge the gap between prospective buyers and consignors by transcending the limitations of live auctions. AstaGuru imparts effortless transparency to the process of acquiring and selling art and rare collectibles. The online module offers bidders the opportunity to bid from the comfort of their houses or while they are on the go.

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