Kochi Biennale Foundation to hold fundraising auction of artworks in Mumbai on Oct. 31 for 4th edition of Biennale

  • Preview of artworks from Oct. 26
  • Paintings of artists like Amrita Sher-Gil, Vivan Sundaram and Italian artist Francesco Clemente in auction lots

An array of signature artworks of modern and contemporary masters, ranging from the late Amrita Sher-Gil to A Ramachandran and from Vivan Sundaram to Subodh Gupta, will come under the hammer as the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) is all set to organise a live and online fundraiser on October 31 in Mumbai to support the upcoming fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB).

In all, artworks of 41 artists will be up for grabs at the auction to be held at Saffronart’s office in Prabhadevi, a southern upscale locality of Mumbai. The registration will start at 7 pm while the auction is to start an hour later at 8 pm. Besides live auctioning, bidding will also take place online, on the phone and on the mobile app of Saffronart, the country’s leading art auction house.

A preview of these artworks will be held on October 26 at the Mumbai offices of Saffronart.

This will be the second such fundraiser art auction by KBF in collaboration with Saffronart, the earlier being in 2015 which raised Rs 2.29 crore. Also, there is no buyer’s premium (additional charge on the hammer price) on the auction and net proceeds will go towards supporting the cause and need of the Biennale.

This is the only revenue generating effort undertaken by the KBF, and the auction is an unprecedented show of support by the Indian art fraternity for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale as all the works are donations by the artists,” said Bose Krishnamachari, the KBF president.

“These donations by artist-patrons show the faith of the art fraternity in the Biennale and the belief that sustenance for it must come from within. Several of these artists have participated in the previous editions of the Biennale and they are donating for the second time,” he added.

KBF Secretary Riyas Komu said the first fundraiser auction in 2015 was mounted rather hurriedly to raise a corpus fund for the Biennale, which has now become a marquee exhibition in South Asia and elsewhere. “This time round, it is more organized. It is both live and online to ensure greater participation of the art aficionados and people alike in the auction. We have also brought out a catalogue, which was missing in the previous auction,” he pointed out.

The auction will also feature prominent names in contemporary Indian art such as Sahej Rahal, Bharti Kher, Atul Dodiya, TV Santhosh, Pushpamala N., Abir Karmakar, Prajakta Potnis, Parvathi Nayar, Manjunath Kamath and Kerala artists Bhagyanath, Benitha Perciyal, P S Jalaja, KP Reji, Sosa Joseph, Vivek Vilasini and Gigi Scaria.

Francesco Clemente, an Italian contemporary artist, is the only foreigner whose work will feature in the fundraiser auction list.

“These artists are generously placing their works on auction without a buyer’s premium attached. The auction is really about more than just the value of the works, it is a sign of the exceptional participation and sense of ownership the Indian art fraternity has felt towards this event,” Mr Komu said. “In fact, this is the only biennale in the world that is conceived and curated by artists themselves.”

Anita Dube, a contemporary artist, is to curate the fourth edition of the KMB, which begins in December 2018.

The KMB, which made its debut in 2012, has catalysed the production of hundreds of artworks, and hosted over 15 lakh visitors that include both Heads of State and the man on the street.

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