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Let the bidding begin

DAG Modern, a repository of artworks by Indian masters, hosts its maiden auction preview in the city. The 20th Century Indian Art Auction features 90 paintings, sketches and sculptures by artists, including Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Ravi Varma, M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza and Jeram Patel. From the South, the list includes the works of K.G. Subramanyan, Senathipathi and KCS Panicker.

Says Kishore Singh, president of DAG Modern: “While most auctions take place in Delhi and Mumbai, this is our attempt to take it nationwide, and Chennai is the first city we are starting with.” The show will later travel to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. He adds that given the legacy and heritage of India in appreciating art and culture, the auction will help re-educate people and reinvent an interest for art.

While art auctions are big in the West, in India, it is a relatively young but growing trade model. Proof of this is the increasing number of auction houses — Saffronart, Pundoles, AstaGuru and Christie’s (Sotheby’s is set to start auctions in India next year). “People enjoy bidding at auctions mainly for two reasons. One, the hesitation in asking for the price of a work is removed. Unlike in a gallery, during an auction, the estimates are in front of you, and you can always ask why a certain work is priced that much. That gives us an opportunity to educate them about the historic relevance and rarity of the particular piece. Second, given the due diligence that goes into organising an auction, there is less chance of doubts about authenticity,” he adds.

Having said that, what sets apart the auction is that “unlike others, it doesn’t charge 25 per cent of the buyer’s premium. So, you don’t have to calculate anything”. The purchase can be made for the value mentioned. “Also, DAG Modern’s inventory of art is extensive,” he says. It has galleries in Delhi, Mumbai and New York, and “includes early works and those that might make art enthusiasts go, ‘Oh my god’!” says Kishore Singh.

The show is open for private viewing on November 8, and to the public on November 9 at Taj Coromandel. A batch of school students will be invited to the show, and a workshop will also be organised for a group of visually-challenged people.

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Highlights

* An early Parisian work by Amrita Sher-Gil

* A portrait of an acquaintance by Rabindranath Tagore

* A popular work on the cat with the lobster theme by Jamini Roy

* A set of drawings of postcards by Nandalal Bose

* A work themed on the Three Graces by M.F. Husain

* Still-life paintings by F.N. Souza and K.G. Subramanyan

* Early works of Krishen Khanna and Satish Gujral

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 7:07:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Let-the-bidding-begin/article16439361.ece

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