ART MARKET INDIAN ART MODERN ART AUCTIONS
For some time now, the Indian art market has been reviving after the post-2008 buying slump. New Delhi-based journalist John Elliott, who runs the current affairs blog Riding the Elephant, reports in a recent post that now it may well be on the first step towards similar pre-2008 peak figures. However, the artists raking in money this time around are not contemporary but modern Indian artists.
In June this year, Sotheby’s raised USD7.9m in a mostly Indian art sales. In the same month, Saffronart sold art worth USD6.7m, and together with a Christie’s two day sale of USD18.1m, Indian art sales for the month of June totaled a substantial USD32.7m.
Elliott reports that ArtTactic, a London based art market analysis firm believes that average auction prices and volumes for modern Indian art are now back to levels seen at the market’s peak in June 2008. Anders Peterson, who runs the firm, adds that,
The return in the confidence for the Indian art market is at the high end of the market.
A significant change from the trends of 2008 is the consistent sales of established veteran artists of Indian modern art rather than contemporary artists. However, given the overall push in the performance of the market, contemporary sales have also picked up. ArtTactic reports that previously popular contemporary artists such as Subodh Gupta and Jitish Kallat are still lagging far below 2007-2008 prices.
Saffronart founder and owner Dinesh Vazirani agrees with ArtTactic’s line on modern art. He says,
Auction prices are reasonably close to their 2008 peak. Serious collectors are there and this is backed with confidence in the Indian economy and with people investing as a hedge against inflation.
But how much do these results tell us about trends in buying Indian art? Anders Peterson from ArtTactic believes that,
Auctions are now a filtered version of the reality in the art market. Lots that are likely to sell are works of high quality, rarity and outstanding provenance. Works that do not demonstrate these qualities are still selling at lower prices or not at all. Therefore the return in confidence is at the high end of the market.
The highlight of the Sotheby‘s sale were the works of Indian modernist painter, poet, philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, while Saffronart relied on modern art veterans like S.H. Raza, who was part of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group and now lives in Paris. His wife, Janine Mongillat, died in April 2002.
- Saffronart once again pioneers with new technology – July 2010 – a quick news post about the companies new mobile phone bidding system
- Interventions explore art industry relationships in curator Meenakshi Thirukode’s Guild Art Gallery show:an interview – June 2010 – an in depth interview exploring the function of various art world roles
- Rising confidence in Indian art as art market recovers – June 2010 – another article on the recovery of the Indian art market
- Peabody Essex Museum loaned three giants of Indian contemporary and modern art: Anish Kapoor, Paritosh Sen and FN Souza – June 2010 – includes some information on the extensive Ambani Collection
- Indian contemporary artist Reena Kallat: Art Radar exclusive interview – April 2010 – an influential artist discusses her artwork in-depth
- Dinesh Vazirani CEO Saffronart speaks about 2010 art market outlook – ArtTactic podcast – March 2010 – sage advice and detailed information from an Indian art professional