A Smart Gateway to India…You’ll love it!
A Smart Gateway to India…You’ll love it!
Contemporary Indian Artists Whose Works are Worth Millions

Art is freedom of thought—a means for an artist to portray his experience and thoughts on canvas, or even sculpting them. Over centuries, India has witnessed a generation of artists who are not only known for their impressionable work, but have also triggered an opinion towards society. Of the many that have come and gone, we list for you the eight most valued contemporary Indian artists.

Centuries ago, when Leonardo da Vinci said, ‘Art is never finished, only abandoned’ it was almost like a sentiment towards art that he could foresee. Indeed, art can never be finished, and India’s love affair with art has been as immortal as it is.

Over time, the nation has seen artists who have not only gained popularity the world over, but have also managed to raise millions of dollars at various auctions. Not to mention, the millions of art aficionados they have acquired.

Paying an ode to Indian contemporary artists and their work, here we list some of them gems from the nation’s art history.


Syed Haider Raza

Born and bought up in India, although Raza moved to France, his roots were deep-seated in India. He has to his credit numerous exhibitions held both in India and abroad. His works drew inspiration from his childhood which he spent in the forests of his native village of Barbaria, in Madhya Pradesh. Raza's style evolved over the years, and he began to create expressionist landscapes, which came across as rigid geometric representations. Many of his paintings featured a dark circular focal point that he termed the Bindu. According to him, it was a fountainhead of both energy and creativity. In 2010, his painting ‘Saurashtra’ was auctioned for INR 16 crores, making him the most expensive modern artist in Indian history.


Vasudeo S Gaitonde

VS Gaintode was regarded as one of India's foremost Abstract Painters. His works have always been non-objective, right from his early figurations to his highly evocative and metaphysical abstracts and even the pioneering figures that carved out a modern identity for Indian art. Famous for bringing out spirituality and characteristic silence in his works, they are as meditative as are eternal and momentous. Over the years, he has come to be known his monochromes, his firm control on colours, immense dexterity in using the palette knife and his keen eye for the play of light and shadows. An untitled painting of his sold for INR 20.8 crores at Christie’s first Indian auction in 2013.


Maqbool Fida Husain

Maqbool Fida Husain alias MF Husain is hailed as one of India’s most successful contemporary artists. Expressions of modified cubist style, his paintings were sarcastic and funny as well as serious and sombre. His themes were based on topics and people as diverse as Mohandas K Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the British Raj, and issues of the Indian urban and rural life. One of his paintings, ‘Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12’, was created in 1972, ranks in the list of the most expensive paintings. This painting was auctioned by Christies in 2008 for INR 6.5 crore.


Tyeb Mehta

Tyeb Mehta was a voice to the new modern language of Indian art. Moving away from an expressionistic vision he adopted a more minimalistic style, where brushstrokes would let the image speak. A few amongst his noted works are Diagonal Series, Santiniketan triptych series, Kali, Mahishasura. In 2011, one of his untitled paintings was auctioned for INR 15 crore at a Christie’s auction.


Francis Newton Souza

Francis Newton Souza's unrestrained and graphic style was both thought provoking and powerful. His paintings usually comprised still life, landscapes, figurative and paintings that reflected a highly personal subject matter revolving majorly around religion and sex. They were indeed bold in form. Souza's paintings express defiance and impatience with convention, along with the banality of everyday life. His painting 1955 painting titled Birth was auctioned for 12.7 crores in 2008.


Amrita Sher-Gil

Amrita Sher-Gil was known as the priciest Indian woman painter. She was one of the most charismatic and promising Indian artists of the pre-colonial era. Most of her paintings vividly reflected her love for the country, and more importantly, her response to the life of its people. They often featured incredibly thin, emaciated starving men and women.

Her famous painting ‘Village scene’ was sold for a whopping INR 18.2 crores in 2006.


Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor, a British-Indian sculptor, is well-known for his intense, almost spiritual, outdoor and indoor works in which he depicts a modernist sense of materialism with a fascination for manipulative forms and a perception of space. His elegant sculptures combine simple materials, geometric shapes and organic forms. His famous work ‘Sky Mirror’ was sold for INR10.16 crores in 2009.


Subodh Gupta

Subodh Gupta is known for incorporating everyday objects, such as steel Tiffin boxes, as well as thali pans, bicycles and milk pails that are widely used throughout India. Using these ordinary items, Subodh creates sculptures that draw references to the past and present experiences of own life and memories that reflect the economic transformation of his homeland. In his words, he is the idol thief. He confesses to have drawn inspiration from the drama of Hindu life. Swinging from significant information to seemingly irrelevant motifs, Gupta's constructions weave eccentric imagery with myths and rituals. One of his works was auctioned for INR 51 lakhs in 2010.

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