Free Press Journal

Tyeb Mehta’s ‘Falling Figure’ sells for over Rs 4 cr


New Delhi: A 1965 painting from Tyeb Mehta’s “Falling Figure” series fetched Rs 4.27 crores, leading the Summer Online auction by Saffronart. The artwork was earlier estimated at Rs 2-3 crores. “The market for contemporary Indian art is seeing a revival, with collectors showing interest in standout works by top-tier artists.

“Contemporary artists are increasingly in the spotlight due to the combined efforts of biennales, art foundation, art fairs, galleries and museums in South Asia, as well as international institutions which are turning their attention to the region,” Hugo Weihe, CEO Saffronart, said.

Estimated at Rs 1.92-3.2 crores, Francis Newton Souza’s ‘The Herald’ sold for Rs 2 crores. Considered to be a significant work from the artist’s
finest phase, the artwork combines clear imagery with stark emotion, and reveals Souza’s own views on humanity. The oil on canvas painting was part of a private collection in South America and was originally believed by the owner’s daughter to be the work of a South American artist.

However, it was subsequently revealed to be from Souza’s successful 1961 exhibition at Gallery One in London. Other highlights of the auction included works by Valay Shende, Atul Dodiya, Adeela Suleman, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Arunkumar H G, Senaka Senanayake, Surendran Nair and Dhananjay Singh. Shende’s untitled sculpture of a buffalo made from welded metal discs, sold at Rs 43 lakhs, Dodiya’s ‘Five Drips from Vesuvius’ sold at Rs 33.8 lakhs, Sri Lankan artist Senaka Senanayake’s oil on canvas sold at Rs 7.29 lakhs. Installations by Pakistani artist Suleman and Bangladeshi artist Lipi sold at Rs 5.95 and Rs 5.37 lakhs respectively.

Works by modernists like Ganesh Pyne, B Prabha, Sadanand Bakre and Thota Vaikuntam also witnessed energetic bidding. An untitled artwork by Prabha sold at Rs 24 lakhs, a 1956 watercolour by Pyne sold at Rs 15.55 lakhs, and an abstract oil on canvas by Bakre sold at Rs 12.86 lakhs.