Friday, June 11, 2010

Raza art rocks Christie’s, sells for record Rs 16 crore

A painting by the Paris-based Syed Haider Raza set a new record for any modern Indian work of art, selling for £2.3 million (Rs 16 crore) at a Christie’s auction on Thursday. Raza’s Saurashtra was bought by Delhi-based art collector Kiran Nadar (wife of HCL Technologies chairman and chief strategy officer Shiv Nadar).

Nadar said she will display the canvas at her private museum in Noida.

“I am delighted and would love to see people come and see the painting at my museum, Nadar told HT. “The size and quality of this painting makes it a very sentinel work.” Saurashtra, dated 1983, was estimated to fetch between £1.3 and 1.8 million (Rs 9-12 crore), but finally sold for £2,393,250 including buyers’ premium.

The painting broke the previous record of £1.27 million held jointly by Raza and Francis Newton Souza set in London two years ago.

Raza’s work, which measures 200 centimetres (nearly 80 inches) square, was sold by a private French collector who acquired it directly from the artist.

The large-scale painting belonged to a key period in Raza’s career when he began to integrate elements of his Indian childhood and cultural heritage into his paintings, Christie’s said.

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