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Saffronart 2010 Summer Online Auction Highlights

New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Saffronart, the world’s largest online fine-art auction house, will showcase the works of modern masters and contemporary artists at its annual Summer Online Art Auction. With a total of 90 lots, the sale includes a wide variety of paintings, sculptures and installations by 45 leading artists, and will take place online at www.saffronart.com on June 16-17, 2010.

The 2010 Summer Online Art Auction presents an extraordinary array of noteworthy masterpieces characterized by exceptional quality and provenance. On offer is a selection of magnificent paintings by modern masters including S H Raza, Akbar Padamsee, F N Souza and Ram Kumar as well as outstanding works by contemporary artists such as Subodh Gupta, N S Harsha, T V Santhosh and Rashid Rana. With all the lots on offer attractively priced, this auction promises to appeal to both established and new collectors.

Speaking about the auction, Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder of Saffronart said, “Since March 2009, Saffronart auctions have demonstrated a strong demand for rare and exceptional works which are unique to the market. Building on these recent results, we have assembled the 2010 Summer Online Art Auction which comprises of historically and aesthetically significant works by illustrious artists.”

“Saffronart’s Spring Online Art Auction 2010 saw 75% of the lots on offer sold, grossing an impressive total of Rs. 21 crores (USD 4.6 million) which represents a significant increase from the March auction a year ago. These figures are indicative that growth has returned to the market. Moreover, we have seen very competitive bidding for quality works, and expect that trend to continue,” he added.

Among the highlights of this sale is an exquisite canvas painted in 1965 by S H Raza, one of India’s foremost modern painters. In the mid 1960s and early 1970s, Raza deftly manipulated colour and light to focus on the emotion a scene evoked rather than its physical attributes. In this epic canvas titled ‘La Provence Noire’, Raza masterfully uses an emotive, largely monochromatic palette to recreate the elusive mood brought on by the descent of night. Inviting and sinister at the same time, the juxtaposition of light and dark in this dusk scene displays the very best of Raza’s expressionist landscapes.

In keeping with the concerns of contemporary artists who often touch on issues of development, urbanization and identity; Subodh Gupta’s works are loaded with symbolism and point to the many fractures and schisms that mark contemporary India as it negotiates a path between local and global, self and the world. Available in auction is a large format canvas executed in 2003, wherein the artist portrays three milk sellers in the shadowy, semi-photorealist technique that characterized his painting at the time. Pedaling their bicycles loaded with galvanized metal milk-cans up a concretized road, these figures are an intrinsic part of the unique urban lifestyle that emerged in India following the economic liberalization of the country in the early 1990s. A complex amalgam of the modern and the traditional, the rural and the urban, this way of life lies at the core of Gupta’s body of work, animating the dialogues it sparks about India and the world.

Another rare work being offered is an early canvas by Akbar Padamsee. Executed in 1972, this painting is one of his earliest Metascapes, and illustrates the importance that the artist attributed to colour, texture and orchestration over location and mimesis. Here, a dark brown expanse of land is punctuated by the arc of what seems to be a lava-flow, slowly spreading across its surface, singeing the earth in its path. Lending a sense of movement to the otherwise still landscape as it inches towards the distant horizon, this fiery arc is the only marker of change in a timeless land.

2010 marks Saffronart’s 10th year as a pioneer of online fine art auctions and a trusted destination for Indian art and jewelry. Recently, Saffronart has leveraged its online presence and global reach to introduce a new product, Prime Properties, launched in April 2010. In partnership with Cushman & Wakefield, the largest privately held fully-integrated real estate services firm in the world, Saffronart is changing the way premium residential properties across India are marketed – through the use of its website platform to reach a targeted network of high-end buyers and sellers comprising both audiences within India and the global Indian diaspora.

The auction carries a total lower estimate of US$ 5.4 million and a higher estimate of US$ 7 million, and will be accompanied by a print catalogue, also available online at www.saffronart.com; as well as previews and private viewings at Saffronart’s gallery spaces in Mumbai, London and New York. The sale will take place online on June 16-17, 2010.

www.saffronart.com