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The auction raised 449,088 USD for rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of 2018 floods.

Art Rises for Kerala (ARK), the first live art auction in the state, concluded on Friday (18 January) night at the Grand Hyatt in Kochi with 100% lots sold. Proceeds from the auction amounting to INR 3.2 crores will be donated to the Government of Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund to help to rebuild efforts in the aftermath of the 2018 floods. The auction, conducted by Saffronart and the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), comprised 42 lots generously donated by leading Indian artists, gallerists and collectors, and had no Buyer’s Premium.


Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 2018.Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 2018.


Two rare drawings by celebrated artist Amrita Sher-Gil – graphite on paperwork from circa 1928 titled Head (Lot 21), and Female Nude (Lot 10) painted circa 1930 – more than doubled their higher estimates to sell for INR 24 lakhs (USD 34,783) and INR 25 lakhs (USD 36,232) respectively. The sale was led by Anish Kapoor’s Untitled, 2018 (Lot 13), a vivid blue canvas and resin work which sold for INR 1.3 crores (USD 188,406). Lot 16, a unique work by Dayanita Singh, sold for INR 25 lakhs (USD 36,232). This work is a ‘Family Box,’ comprising a wooden structure that holds within it five framed photographs of the winning bidder and their family, and will be created by the artist after the auction.

Among the other top ten lots were works by Viswanadhan Velu, TV Santhosh, Francesco Clemente, Gulammohammed Sheikh, K M Madhusudhanan and Manu Parekh.

Saffronart CEO Dinesh Vazirani said, “We have partnered with the Kochi Biennale Foundation once again in solidarity with the people of Kerala, and we thank the art community for their generous support in both donating and bidding on works for this important cause. 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 is already underway.”

Bose Krishnamachari, President of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, said, “The government of Kerala is the principal supporter of the Biennale, and we’re proud to have been able to bring together the artist community to rebuild Kerala. I’m also happy that a new generation of art collectors have come forward in Kerala, and I hope that this will strengthen the ecosystem for art here.”

On 29 – 30 August 2018, StoryLTD by Saffronart conducted a Kerala Flood Relief Fundraiser Auction and raised an amount of INR 36 lakhs, which was donated to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on 21 November 2018.

This is the third time that Saffronart has partnered with KBF for an auction, following auctions to raise funds for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2015 and 2017. An analysis of the auction can be found on saffronart.com.

For further information contact: Benjamin Bamnolkar | benjamin@saffronart.com | +91 9820888743

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