Auctioneer plans $15 million emerging nations sale

Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:55pm EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Around 450 works of art from emerging powers Brazil, Russia, India and China will be offered for sale in London next month and auctioneer Phillips de Pury expects them to raise around $15 million.

Company chairman Simon de Pury said the series of auctions, the first to be held at Charles Saatchi's London gallery, will represent both the so-called "blue-chip" artists from the featured countries alongside lesser-known names.

"The stars of each country are extremely well represented by fine works, but the auction will really present a survey of what is happening in contemporary culture in those countries," he told Reuters.

"And it is not only contemporary art, but also photography and design."

Among the top lots to go on offer on April 23 and 24 are a 1974/75 work by Russian artist Erik Bulatov, estimated at 350-450,000 pounds ($525-675,000), a 2006 work by India's Subodh Gupta (320-380,000 pounds) and a 2006 work by China's Zhang Xiaogang (220-320,000 pounds).

All three are top names in the contemporary art scene who have commanded seven-figure sums at auction in recent years.

The overall estimates for the auctions are 9-13 million pounds.

The sales are entitled BRIC, borrowing the term usually used in the financial markets to describe the rapidly expanding economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.   Continued...