Friday, June 11, 2010

Indian artist's work gets $3.5M Cdn at auction

A Christie's employee stands next to Indian artist Syed Haider Raza's canvas Saurashtra in London in June. The large-scale painting sold for nearly $3.5 million Cdn Thursday, setting a sales record for a contemporary Indian artwork. 

 A brilliantly coloured abstract canvas by Indian-born artist Syed Haider Raza has set a new record for the sale of a contemporary Indian artwork after fetching nearly $3.5 million Cdn at auction, Christie's has announced.
Saurashtra, a large-scale square canvas Raza created in 1983, sold for the equivalent of about $3.45 million Cdn, including buyer's premium, at a London auction on Thursday evening.
"The painting is one of [the] most ambitious works he has ever created as an homage to his homeland," Yamini Mehta, Christie's London's director of South Asian modern and contemporary art, said before the auction.
"Its size, scale, and expressive brushstroke radiates the brilliant colours of India and has a deeply spiritual subtext."
An unnamed buyer purchased the acrylic-on-canvas work from a French collector, who had acquired it directly from Raza.
Though based in France since the 1950s, 88-year-old Raza continues to maintain strong ties with his homeland.
Though Raza's Saurashtra was the record breaker, Thursday's auction also saw lofty prices paid for other works by South Asian artists, including Francis Newton Souza and Tyeb Mehta.

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