Monday, August 24, 2009

Need to engage and understand art better is growing

“Talk is cheap; a saying, which may be interpreted in many different ways. One of the ways of looking at it is that talking is more economical than actually buying. Which is why, in today’s uncertain art market, several collectors and market experts have taken to talking about it rather than charging the proverbial windmills.”

The above pertinent observation is made by Georgina Maddox in a recent article, ‘Debating Art’ in The Indian Express. Artists, theorists and gallery owners are only too glad with the recent turn of events. New Delhi has witnessed a series of talks on art, drawing an eager audience.

Well-known art critic Ranjit Hoskote feels, “Collectors after being dazzled by the market are rather looking at value built and enhanced by knowledge. Leading auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s plan a series of talks with their international Modern and Contemporary art specialists.

According to Jitish Kallat, the main reason for the continued keen interest is an “internal momentum within the country’s art scene. Driven by the rigor of the art being made and the expanded circumference of art (market) worldwide, there are now thousands of people involved in it. There’s no way people will give up on it, he quips.

Maithili Parekh, Sotheby’s deputy director, recently organized a talk by August Uribe, their Modern and Impressionist specialist. The auction house intends to host more talks in the future. The art expert has been quoted as saying, “Art is about imagination and ideas; it’s meant to spark discussion. There’s no doubt that the market plays an essential role since only sales ensure art lives beyond the historical time. However people are realizing they need to engage and understand it better.”

Peter Nagy of Nature Morte is also appreciative of the increasing interest in more meaningful discussions. However, the art analyst doesn’t believe there is enough of it as yet, and adds that everybody prior to this wanted only to talk of the market. That is still the case, avers Nagy.

“There’s too much emphasis on the art auctions and people feel this is the only transparent process and tend to build their opinions on basis of that. However, there’s much more to art than buyers actually know. Such discussions though, should help," he sums up.

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