Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Buzz about Indian art market only getting louder

What excites international art market experts like Anna Zegna, Milan-based Ermenegildo Zegna’s image director about India is a wide pool of younger artists working with alternate media and innovative forms! She has been quoted as saying in an interview: “The canon of the Indian art world is expanding, which is really exciting. Everyone knows the Bengal masters, the progressive masters. However, the challenge right now is exposing new buyers to this fast-expanding canon. Many of these emerging collectors might not intend to spend a quarter or half a million dollars to purchase one of the great masters. But they seek real art on their walls.”

There have been immense changes in our art scene in the last decade. It has become more dynamic, and there’s interest in art production across diverse audiences, which encourages global players to launch art initiatives centered on India. ZegnArt project nurtured by some perceptive curators is a testimony to this trend, allowing India’s talented artists to collaborate and enter into a dialogue with them. The project specific to Indian art and history, especially Mumbai, has led to a lot of buzz even in the general public.

A meaningful partnership between Mumbai’s historic Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and the Zegna Group from Italy is a perfect case of fruitful public-private collaboration, being tried out in India, probably first time ever. Anna Zegna emphasizes this is a good time to be closely looking at India’s art world. The undue hype has vanished and people are not saying any longer something like ‘buy big!’

Keen to leverage the condition, Sotheby’s New York are selling a modern Indian painting collection this month consigned by Amrita Jhaveri, formerly with Christie’s. The 43 artworks, by many renowned modern painters like MF Husain, FN Souza, Tyeb Mehta, Vasudeo Gaitonde, and SH Raza are estimated in the price range of $5m and $7m, most of them bought at the auction house’s landmark sale of the Herwitz collection a decade ago, the first one that probably put Indian modern art on the global art map. It’s the first ever evening Indian art sale being held outside the sub-continent.

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