India remains an important destination for Sotheby's, and its client base in the country is growing steadily, claims its Deputy chairman (Europe) and chairman (Russia), Mark Poltimore in a recent interview with Gayatri Rangachari Shah of The New York Times News Service. We summarize the important observation made:
- In 2012, Sotheby's saw a 20 per cent rise in the number of Indian buyers participating in our auctions and a 42 per cent rise in the amount they spent with the company. Indian buyers are now active right across our selling categories - not just Indian art, but also increasingly in our impressionist and modern, international contemporary and jewelry sales.
- Our main goals are to develop the international market for modern and contemporary Indian art and to bring a higher level of client service to our buyers and collectors based in India and those of the Indian diaspora around the world.
- In keeping with Sotheby's strategy of sourcing property globally and selling centrally, our efforts in India will help to develop the international market for Indian modern and contemporary art in New York and London, where we hold our annual sales. We recently joined forces with celebrated Indian couturiers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla on their ‘India Fantastique’ book launches in London and Delhi.
- At present, the majority of buyers of Indian modern and contemporary art are Indian clients, either resident or nonresident in India. Holding our sales in New York and London exposes these works to a wider international audience, which is increasingly showing interest in this field. Major institutions such as Tate in Britain and MoMA in New York are also seeking Indian art acquisitions for their collections.
- There is undoubtedly growing international interest in Indian contemporary art. What we observe is that collectors are becoming more discerning; they are not in a rush to buy and are looking carefully and researching what they want to acquire. These are good indications of a market which is growing in maturity.