Amrita Sher-Gil's untitled nude earned Rs 70 lakh (easily topping its expected price of Rs 60 lakh) at an auction held at a well-attended black-tie charity dinner hosted by the Taj Palace, New Delhi, on August 9.
Taj celebrated its 115th birthday of the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai. And what better way than with an art auction? In collaboration with DAG (Delhi Art Gallery), Taj Palace New Delhi hosted a preview of the collection in Delhi on August 2 to whet the appetite of collectors of artworks that would go under the hammer.
The 25 works by masters of modern Indian art presented at this auction included M.F. Husain, Amrita Sher-Gil, S.H. Raza, Jamini Roy, F.N. Souza, K.H. Ara, Sunil Das, G.R. Santosh, J. Sultan Ali, Natvar Bhavsar, Sakti Burman, Avinash Chandra, Krishna Reddy, P.T. Reddy, Anupam Sud, Bimal Dasgupta, Shanti Dave, Rabin Mondal, Laxman Pai, Madhvi Parekh, SohanQadri, Gogi Saroj Pal, VedNayar, Shobha Broota and P. Khemraj.
Part of the proceeds of the Rs 2.79 crore collected from the sale of the artworks will go to The Taj Public Service Welfare Trust that was set up to help those affected by the Mumbai Blasts in 2008. Speaking on the association as an Auction Partner, Ashish Anand, MD & CEO, DAG said, “Since our inception in 1993, DAG has always believed in the power of art to impact social change. Last night we came together to celebrate the power of hope and importance of charitable giving to support the stellar work of the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust. After our first success of the Charity Gala at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, we are happy to see a similar response in Delhi. We are proud to be a part of such a significant cause. All the works featured in the auction had no reserve price or buyer’s premium and these artists have been critical to the development of Modern Indian art.”
A lot of thought goes into the curation of such an event. For Ashish Anand, it was the variety that was important. Provenance, material, price, old and new artists, textures, colours, themes - a little space was required for all. Paring down the numbers to 25 from the many on offer, it was evident at the preview, that all parameters had been met.