MF Husain paintings fetch Rs 10 crore, At NY sale
By Rizwan Khatik - Fri Sep 16, 7:23 am
NEW DELHI: While he was alive, Maqbool Fida Husain was the darling of collectors. After his death, the horses are still galloping. In the first major sale since he passed away, Husain’s work proved to be a sellout.
All 13 of his works on offer at a Christie’s sale in New York on Tuesday sold for a total of $4.2 million (Rs 10 crore), more than half the auction’s $7.38 million haul.
The most expensive painting was the seven-foot-long Sparkling Horses which went for Rs 5.4 crore against an undisclosed estimate. Another work included in the sale was Yatra (1955) which sold for over $920,000, more than twice the estimate. All his other works either beat or met estimates.
Husain, who died in June at the age of 96, was almost a bellwether of the art market though he wasn’t commanding the kind of gavel prices his contemporaries in the Progressive Artists Group like Tyeb Mehta and S H Raza were towards the end.
“One reason for that is he was prolific, painting over 30,000 works compared to Mehta’s 300-400,” said Dinesh Vazirani, CEO of Saffronart, which features several of Husain’s works in its autumn online auction. Sotheby’s, too, has a Husain work in its forthcoming auction.
The sales are a sign of the growing buzz around the work of the painter who was often referred to as India’s
Picasso. Husain died in exile after his portrayal of Hindu deities raked up controversies.