Monday, December 3, 2012

Positive indicators for Indian art scene

In a major boost to India’s art market, the overall Confidence Indicator of ArtTactic has increased by 10 percent in the time period between May 2012 and October 2012, currently standing at 57 (up from the previous 52). The Indicator for the Modern art market of the country stands unchanged at 71, whereas the confidence in the segment of Contemporary art has gone up 12 percent from 39 to an impressive 44. Though still below the psychological level of 50, the key Expectation Indicator for India’s Contemporary art market is at 53, signaling broadly a positive outlook for this segment in the coming 6 months.

Overall Indian art auction volume for both for Modern and Contemporary stood at $11,424,094, 33 percent up from June 2012, and in line with the results a year ago. One of the key contributing factors to these results was Sotheby’s apparent ability to lead a comeback after poor June sale that took place in London, only raising $606,515. Despite falling 32 percent short of the pre-sale estimate, it did help to lift the sales total markedly beyond the previous two auction seasons.

The market remains rather conservative, and though this season has showed encouraging signs in the contemporary segment, the last auction round returned to the far more established Modern area, with contemporary lots managing to account just 14 percent of the number of lots and only 5 percent of the total value. In fact, the top 10 lots made up 46 percent of the sale, with artworks by Husain accounting for 5 of the top 10 prices attained. Tyeb Mehta is an artist who continues to command the best prices, with his ‘Falling Figure with Bird’ fetching $1,629,091. It made up 14 percent of total sales for the top three houses. Another work by him went for $600,000 (the 3rd highest hammer price recorded this season).

ArtTactic, a firm founded by Anders Petterson in 2001 has developed analytical frameworks and methodologies for the market often used by people in top financial markets and economists. It offers an added dimension to market analysis by collating both quantitative and qualitative research tools with a deep knowledge of how it works.

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