Sale: Modern and Contemporary Indian Works of Art

Location: Sotheby's, 1334, York Avenue, New York, tel: +1 212 606 7000

Date: July 17 (Tuesday)

Need to Know: The dramatic upturn in India's economic fortunes has created a whole new breed of art lovers who are driving a fast-growing market for home-grown works by the country's leading names in the modern and contemporary fields. But they don't just want to buy art, they want to enjoy it and preserve it for others, too – hence the reason for this high-end benefit auction that is expected to raise more than $3m to help build a cutting-edge modern art museum in the heart of Kolkata. The Kolkata Museum of Modern Art is scheduled to open in 2012 following the completion of the $150m building on a 10-acre site in the Rajarhat region of the city. Funded by a partnership between the West Bengal government and private investors, it will feature four giant galleries displaying works of art from around the world, dating from the 18th century to the present.

Highlights: The sale will feature 84 lots that have been selected by KMOMA's managing trustee, the well known Kolkata gallery owner Rakhi Sarkar. Many have been donated by the artists, although the highest value lot in the sale, “Kali Head (Green)” by leading Indian painter Tyeb Mehta, comes from a private collector and is expected to realise up to $600,000. The late Somnath Hore contributed his bronze entitled “Wounds” shortly before his death last year (estimate $20,000-$30,000) while works by young Indian artists include a sculpture group of cosmetic containers cast in chrome and bronze by Venice Biennale exhibitor Subodh Gupta ($50,000-$70,000). Contemporary photographs by Pushpamala N, Vivan Sundaram and Dayanita Singh will also be on offer, together with traditional Bengali tribal art and paintings by members of the popular “Bombay Boys” group such as Brose Krishmat and Riyas Komu.

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