As an avid collector of art from Norway, China and India, Joey Horn has a great interest in the artists and artworks that originate in these countries. Many works of art from the Subcontinent have now gained the same attention and accolades as those from the West, not to mention reaching similar prices at auction.
The modernist masters are amongst the most popular, and expensive, artists in India, including Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Francis Newton Souza and Tyeb Mehta. Gaitonde was born in 1924 and was India’s best-known abstract painter, having studied at the Sir J.J. School of Art and going on to join the highly influential Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. Amongst the artists within the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group was Francis Newton Souza [2;3] – better known as F.N. Souza. F.N. Souza was the first post-independence Indian artist to be recognised in the West for his artistic talent, and as such, in 1949 he moved to London where he exhibited his works.
Tyeb Mehta was also part of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, and was a multidisciplinary artist, working as a sculptor, painter and film maker. Mehta’s work was Modernist, with elements of post-impressionism, cubism and expressionism. In 2002, Mehta held the record for the highest auction price for a work of Indian art, as his painting titled ‘Celebration’ sold for $317,500 USD at Christie’s.
Further to Gaitonde, Souza and Mehta, many other important artists have emerged from India; Anish Kapoor ranked at number 11 in Artprice’s Top 500 in 2012-13, with a top auction price of 1.12 million euros, and an auction turnover of 12.3 million euros.
Atul Dodiya is also thought to be amongst the most sought after Indian artists, as his works can fetch up to $466,000 USD at auction. Dodiya paints evocative scenes that are influenced by the modernist masters such as Souza and Mehta; however, he presents his works in a more contemporary light.
Bharti Kher ranked at number 102 in the 2012-13 Artprice Top 500, and is the most expensive Indian artists after Kapoor. Kher sold her work ‘The Skin Speaks a Language Not its Own’ in 2010 in Sotheby’s, London for $1.5 million USD – which meant that she surpassed her husband, artist Subodh Gupta’s auction record of $1.4 million USD.