Showing posts with label Bhupen Khakhar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bhupen Khakhar. Show all posts

11 Mar 2020

Interview: Indian Art Market Has Potential

"Many important artists have long been overlooked, and are waiting to be properly recognised for their contribution to art history. We need to continue to further the global conversation around Indian art, ensuring that their work is measured and considered against the work of international artists, not only in a South Asian context," elaborates Manjari Sihare-Sutin, Head of Sale, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, New York in an exclusive e-mail interaction with Art Scene India

N10333, Lot 12, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Untitled, Art Scene India
Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Untitled

Sotheby's upcoming annual auction on 16th March in New York, commemorates the 25th anniversary of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art sales at Sotheby's. It will feature a selection of rare, never-before-seen works, with 95% of works emerging from private collections. 

Led by two 1960s paintings by pioneer Indian abstractionists Nasreen Mohamedi and Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, the auction also features an important work by Indian National Treasure artist Raja Ravi Varma; a selection of sculptures led by modernist works by Amarnath Sehgal and Adi Davierwalla; a curated selection on Neo-Tantra. including works by Biren De, G. R. Santosh and more; and a diverse selection of works from the Bengal School of Art as well as Modern and Contemporary art from Pakistan.

NM: How has last year been for Sotheby's in terms of modern and contemporary Indian art sales?

MSS: We are feeling optimistic. We are adding new clients into our fold, coming from India, the US, China, and more. We are also witnessing new artist records set in each sale.

Look closely at the results of our recent sale in Mumbai, and you’ll see that the sell-through rate was strong (and even a little higher than in our inaugural sale in 2018), and we saw a real depth of bidding; almost 60% of lots sold for prices over their high estimates.

Our sales in the summer in London last year saw particularly pleasing results of over £7.5 million - the highest sale total achieved for a sale of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art at Sotheby’s London in a decade. The auction was led by Bhupen Khakhar’s landmark Two Men in Benares (1982) which established a new record for the artist at £2.54 million / $3.2 million (£450,000-600,000), more than doubling the previous auction record. There’s continued vitality in the market, and a promising future.

10333, Lot 48, Sayed Haider Raza, Prairie, Art Scene India
Sayed Haider Raza, Prairie,
NM: Given the economic conditions, what are your strategies to strengthen sales? And your future plans in India?

MSS: The Indian diaspora comprises one of the largest and geographically diverse populations, because of this geographical spread, there is an inherent stability in the Indian market which metaphorically we liken to a four legged stool with one leg in India and others in North America, Europe and Asia. It means that the market is not beholden to the economies or politics of one particular region in order to thrive.

When we are building our auctions, we look to source fresh to the market works which will to appeal to a wide range of collectors at all price points. For instance, our next sale in New York features a spectacular array of works with storied provenances - most fresh to the market or unseen for at least a generation. 95% of the sale is sourced from private collections. This is an opportunity for collectors to discover hidden gems - artworks which have never exhibited anywhere before but are being unveiled by Sotheby’s for the first time. The array of works have been selected to appeal to collectors of every stripe, with each work carefully chosen from the diverse corpus of South Asian Art created in the Twentieth Century. Estimates range from just $500 to $1,000,000.

Sotheby’s holds three dedicated sales of South Asian Art across the world each year, and special one-off auctions for exceptional single-owner collections, such as The Guy and Helen Barbier Family Collection which we offered in London in June and online sales such as the one in September last year.
N10333, Lot 31, Raja Ravi Varma, Untitled (Swami Vishwamitra in Meditation), Art Scene India
 Raja Ravi Varma, Untitled (Swami Vishwamitra in Meditation)
NM: Could you comment on the huge disparity in art prices of Indian and Western artists, what could be or needs to be done to narrow the gap?

MSS: There is still so much potential for the Indian art market. It is a relatively new Market - just 25 years old. Many important artists have long been overlooked, and are waiting to be properly recognised for their contribution to art history. We need to continue to further the global conversation around Indian art, ensuring that their work is measured and considered against the work of international artists, not only in a South Asian context.

All images courtesy Sotheby's

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24 Sept 2013

Book Review: Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power

The publication accompanying the exhibition of selections from the Waswo X. Waswo‘s collection of Indian printmaking traces the growth of Indian art in a sociological and historical context. The scale of the exhibition and its significance in mapping the evolution of printmaking from 1916 onwards makes this publication much more than a catalogue. And, as Jyoti Bhatt has aptly pointed out in the introduction that a book has a much larger reach as compared to an exhibition which becomes limited by time and geography, this publication becomes an important documentation effort.  

In this survey of Indian print making, art historian and curator Lina Vincent Sunish explores notions of identity, place and power that shape artistic creation.  The exhibition of prints (from Waswo’s collection) held at NGMA earlier in the year, represented 79 Indian artists from diverse geographical regions and featured woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and screenprints spanning an almost 100 year period from 1916 to the present. “The thematic distribution of works according to the interconnected concepts of identity, place and power originates from the desire to take advantage of the time span the collection represents, and the Indian histories that directly and indirectly played a part in the creation of the works.”

During this phase, the transformations in the Indian landscape have been enormous and the collection attempts to ‘generate connections of thought between artists disparate in time and space, and make them visible to a viewer in the context of an exhibition’ while rejecting chronology.  The emphasis is on exploring imagery and meaning in the printmaking practice of various artists.

The works by some of the finest printmakers are a part of Waswo’s collection and are therefore featured in the book.  One cannot help but recall the exhibition and appreciate the effort behind it.  From senior artists such as Mukul Dey, Haren Das, Nandalal Bose, Jogen Chowdhury, KG Subramanyan, Laxma Goud, Krishna Reddy, Somnath Hore, Anupam Sud, Bhupen Khakhar and Chittaprosad Bhattacharya to works by the new generation of Indian printmakers like Maripelly Praveen Goud, Kurma Nadham and Jagadeesh Tammineni, the vast collection presents a remarkable selection of prints across time, location and artistic sensibilities.

The afterword by Waswo is a fascinating account of his collecting journey detailing his passion for artworks on paper; a modest beginning which soon grew into an extensive and noteworthy collection.

One of the highlights of this book is definitely its readability factor and this book is as much for the lay person curious about Indian printmaking as for the art connoisseur. In a sense, a large format coffee table book would have perhaps done more justice to this publication.

Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power can be purchased here

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