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Art auctions in the city

Monday, March 12, 2018

The season for art auctions is upon us again. While art auction house Saffronart is holding an auction in the citytomorrow, we hear   Astaguru is having its 10th anniversary two-day auction event on March 26-27. Astaguru is putting up for bid some of the better, if not best, works of such masters as Ram Kumar, SH Raza, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Akbar Padamsee, VS Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, FN Souza, Anjolie Ela Menon and Jehangir Sabavala. Also up on auction will be the works by classic painters Amrita Sher-Gill and Raja Ravi Varma, as well as of the famous artists MF Husain and Manjit Bawa. Tushar Sethi, Astaguru CEO recalls how, despite the fact that the company began operations in 2008, just before the worldwide recession shook financial institutions to the core, the company survived and has in recent years flourished by diversifying into jewellery and collectibles. “We will soon be further diversifying into watches and memorabilia as well,” says the young honcho who’s also, believe it or not, eyeing a natural history auction that will sell dinosaur parts! Tushar says Astaguru is considering an international presence soon: “We’re planning to set up our first overseas office in New York in a year’s time,” he informs. What about the fact that the Indian art market seems to have deflated considerably recently? Replies Sethi: “While it’s true that there has been a huge downtrend in prices for the works of contemporary Indian artists, the masters are pretty much untouched.” As a matter of fact, we figured from the Astaguru website (http://astaguru.com/) that with the five auctions that the company had, in all genres, in 2017, it had managed to pull in over Rs100 crore for itself.

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