British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor topped the latest Hurun India Art List for a fifth year, with his artworks fetching $19 million (₹91 crore) from auctions of 80 lots.
Octagenarian banker-turned-modernist painter Arpita Singh was second on the list, with her art racking up $3 million (₹24.71 crore) from sales in the year to July 2023.
Singh, who retained her position as the most accomplished living Indian female artist, was followed by Jogen Chowdhury, with art sales totalling $2.4 million (₹19.76 crore).
While Kapoor’s influence on the art world extends beyond his sales, he also made history by becoming the first living artist to receive a solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Kapoor also owns exclusive artistic rights to Vantablack, one of the darkest artificial substances known and is manufactured by Surrey NanoSystems, Hurun said in a statement.
Among the most expensive individual artworks, Padma Shri Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, who stood fourth in the rankings, took home close to $2 million (₹17 crore) for just one of his celebrated works.
To be sure, in a sign of growing recognition of quality art, four artists could sell a single piece of their art for $0.6 million (₹5 crore), when compared with just one sculptor who could fetch that sum last year.
Joining the list this year and making a debut in the top 10 is 26-year-old Raghav Babbar, who also was the youngest artist to be featured on the list.
Among the top 50, there are nine women artists, collectively contributing to 14% of the overall value, Hurun said. In terms of artistic genres, painting emerged as the predominant medium with 33 artists, closely followed by sculpture, with seven artists.
The total sale value of artworks was recorded at $30.4 million (₹252.61 crore), a 113% jump over the previous year, with most artists seeing sales soaring.
Out of the total 539 art pieces sold, the collective lots sold by the top 10 artists constituted a substantial 44%, Hurun said.
Among cities, Delhi-NCR retained its position as the art capital of India, with 16 artists from the region finding their names in the list, closely followed by Mumbai with 10 artists. Nine on the list reside outside India.
Most sculptors on the list hail from West Bengal and Maharashtra, closely followed by those from Kerala and Karnataka.
“Indian art is a growing market with a strong cultural heritage. It is a good value investment, and it is also a unique and beautiful way to add value to your home or office. If you are looking for a long-term investment that is both financially and aesthetically rewarding, then Indian art is a great option,” Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher of Hurun Report India, said.
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