Indian artists becoming most valued in the world

Freud, Hockney, Hirst and so on

Indian artists becoming most valued in the world

Postby rekha2010 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:22 am

If Indian artists are to become the most valued in the world, then this past decade may have been a glimpse into the future.

The last ten years saw the market progressing across the board with multiple changes occurring at every level and maturing as a whole. While works by some of our Modern and Contemporary artists crossed the one million dollar mark at auction (and more recently US$3.5 million fetched by the painting ‘Saurashtra’ by SH Raza at Christie’s, London in 2010) there has also been a noticeable shift in terms of visibility.

The opening of a number of new galleries exhibiting contemporary art in Mumbai and New Delhi along with Indian artists being represented by prominent international galleries in cities like Paris, New York and London has further facilitated the globalisation, understanding and recognition of Indian art. Additionally, Indian artists have slowly begun to be included at seminal international exhibitions in museums, art fairs and biennales which are frequented by a large number of visitors.

At Christie’s, the annual auction totals for Modern and Contemporary Indian art also witnessed a similar growth increasing from approximately US$ 600,000 in the year 2000 to over US$ 37 million at the close of 2010. Auctions featuring Indian art are now held up to six times a year in New York, London, Hong Kong and Dubai. All this activity has piqued the interest of a broader global audience and the somewhat limited collector base consisting of a handful of Non Resident and local Indians has increased to include a larger international group reflecting the breadth and depth of this market.

We now stand at a crossroad. While clearly the value of Indian artists is recognised globally, in order to ensure this momentum continues into the next decade, it is important that art becomes more accessible and available in India itself. A welcome development has been the opening of private institutions and foundations like the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Noida and the Devi Art Foundation in Gurgaon.

Similarly, the recent exhibition of the prominent international artist Anish Kapoor at the National Gallery of Modern Art and Mehboob Studios’ along with ongoing projects at museums like the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum are successfully allowing people from all walks of life to view and experience art first hand.

Visiting a museum or gallery is still a new concept for many and we are yet to imbibe this as a part of our culture. Art needs to be introduced, if even in the most minimal way, at schools and public spaces in order to eventually become a way of life.

While the monetary value plays a role in the acquisition of a piece, it is also essential that the work is valued for its intellectual, aesthetic and cultural worth.

As we begin to recognise and appreciate these combined values it is only a matter of time that Indian Artists truly become treasured and appreciated as the primary contributors to the international art community.
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