Gareth Harris of The Financial Times notes that Charles Saatchi is planning a show of Indian art at his Chelsea space early next year, whereas The New York Times proclaims that Asian interest in Indian art is gradually picking up.
Giving an enhanced sense of the Indian art market, renowned publication Economist noted, “The prices of paintings by known artists such as the late F.N. Souza and M.F. Husain have fallen over the past year. Prices of works by younger contemporary artists have also slumped, which has brought a sense of reality to the art market."
Underlining a few fundamental problem areas, art expert Maithili Parekh mentioned to BBC News: "India is lacking enough curators and critics and art publications. We’ve little institutional and museum collecting to help make art much more accessible to the public." But things are definitely changing. Grasping the ‘Winds of Change’, Georgina Wilson-Powell of The Khaleej Times, made mention of Art Expo India 2009, an event in Mumbai that hoped to raise awareness of modern Indian art on the international stage.
Rob Dean, a former India representative of Christie’s auctioneers who now runs London’s Rob Dean Art gallery, was quoted as saying in the UAE based publication, The National: “From the talk here, there’s an upswing in the mood, definitely not so in London.”
Giving a broader perspective, art expert Vickram Sethi, ‘who helps some of India’s richest build their collections’, stated, “Economic statistics are a poor indicator of the buying power of Indian collectors. The people who buy art aren’t people who are so much affected by the stock market and by the recession. Our economy is not a true reflection of the money there is in India. India has so much money; we don’t even know how much money we’ve. There’s a lack of confidence, there’s nothing else.”
Echoing his views, Mr Dean felt that the ‘new-found’ buying power was now increasingly looking to buy international as well as Indian art. Checking Indian art’s bumpy ride in the market, an insightful essay in the prestigious UK publication, Financial Times wanted to find out how hard the economic downturn had hit modern & contemporary Indian art? The hyped Indian art scene, according to artist Subodh Gupta, meant that college students in India were making works with the market in mind, ‘which is dangerous’.