A first-ever international live contemporary art auction in Kerala saw all its works getting sold out and the proceeds of Rs 3.2 crore set to be donated to the state government’s rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the natural calamity five months ago.
The auction, conducted by Mumbai-based Saffronart and the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) last weekend, had no Buyer’s Premium — and comprised 42 artworks generously donated by leading Indian and international artists, gallerists and collectors. The amount from the Friday night event at the Grant Hyatt in Kochi is going to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund for the benefit of the people hit by the floods and landslides in August last year.
The sale was led by eminent artist Anish Kapoor’s Untitled, 2018, a vivid blue canvas-and-resin work that sold for Rs 1.3 crore.
The 2010-founded KBF noted that the Kerala government has been the principal supporter of the biennale which has its fourth edition on for 108 days till March 29. “We’re proud to have been able to bring together the artist community to rebuild Kerala,” said KBF president Bose Krishnamachari. “I’m also happy that along with the important collectors in India, a new generation of art collectors have come forward in Kerala.I hope that this will strengthen the ecosystem for art here.”
Saffronart said it had partnered with the KBF once again in solidarity with the people of Kerala. “We thank the art community for their generous support in both donating and bidding on works for this important cause,” said Saffronart CEO Dinesh Vazirani. “We hope that the funds raised through this auction, with artworks by some of India’s leading artists, will support the commendable rebuilding efforts initiated by the state government that are already underway.”
Sunil V, Secretary of the KBF, said the foundation thanks the artists who generously contributed to the cause. “We also want to thank Saffronart and Dinesh Vazirani for their partnership,” he added.