Never-seen-before Tyeb Mehta painting to be highlight of maiden India auction: Sotheby's India MD (IANS Interview)
The painting represents the eternal cosmic dilemma of the human condition: the battle of good and evil, creation and destruction.
"Modernist Tyeb Mehta has tonight achieved a new world record at Rs 26.4 crore (approximately $4 million) with the sale of Untitled (Kali), 1989, at Saffronart's Summer Online Auction," Saffronart said in a statement.
Mehta's previous world record was held by leading auction house Christie's. In May 2017, Untitled (Woman on Rickshaw), 1994, was sold at a Christie's auction for $3.56 million (Rs 22.99 crores).
The buyer then was New Delhi's Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.
"The sale of Tyeb Mehta's Kali marks an important achievement in modern Indian art sales, and paves the way forward for online auctions of Indian art," Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder of Saffronart told IANS after the sale was announced.
"In our 18 years as India's leading auction house, our focus has been to make the best of Indian art accessible to audiences around the world," he added.
Mehta's "Kali" is the largest of only three standing figures painted by the artist.
It was once part of the art collection of the eminent theatre director, Ebrahim Alkazi.
Mehta, who spent most of his life in Mumbai, passed away there on July 2, 2009 following a heart attack. He was a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2007.
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