vendredi 27 mars 2009

Indian art paints a new picture in downturn

Source Reuters India By Rina Chandran
An economic downturn has taken some colour out of India's once booming art market, but it has also brought back collectors who had been priced out by speculators splashing out on high-priced works.
At two recent auctions of modern and contemporary Indian art, works were priced lower and not all of them were sold, but quality works by well-known artists still saw fierce bidding.
"We are very encouraged by the fact that despite the slowdown, people are still looking to buy quality work," said Dinesh Vazirani, co-founder of Saffronart, whose spring online auction recently sold 70 percent of more than 100 works.
Prices are nearly 25 percent lower and the Saffronart auction netted 78 million rupees ($1.5 million), he said, just a fifth of the collection from the summer auction last June.
"But we are seeing old collectors who'd missed out during the boom, buying what they like, what they know," he said.
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jeudi 26 mars 2009

Food for thought from Eastern eyes

Terry Grimley reviews two major exhibitions of Indian art that have opened in the region.
Source Birmingham Post By Terry Grimley
While nowhere is immune from the worldwide recession, it seems that the Indian art market still remains buoyant.
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mercredi 25 mars 2009

Osian's collects sale of Rs 8 crore at IMCAC auction

Leading auctioneer Osian’s has notched up a total sale of over Rs 8 crore at its recent auction of Indian Modern & Contemporary Art and Craft.
Source : Economic Times by Ashok Nag.
This figure was a little below the lower presale estimate of Rs 8.9 crore. Of the 108 works on offer, 71 found buyers, registering a total sale of 66%.
While the average lot price clocked for the entire auction was at the level of Rs 11.42 lakh, the average lot price for Modern art was pegged at Rs 21.5 lakh.
The average lot price for Modern art has grown from Rs 15.25 lakh in the January 2009 and Rs 13.5 lakh in the February 2009 Osian’s auctions.
Bids came in from a large section of the audience of 400-odd people gathered at the Osian’s auction. The crowd comprised collectors, dealers, art lovers, bankers, lawyers, management consultants, mediapersons, artisans and craftsmen.
The auction witnessed "keen" bidding on the floor and over the phones. An Untitled mid-1930s work by Nicholas Roerich fetched the highest price at Rs 1.68 crore. At the same time, Akbar Padamsee’s oil on canvas Nude from 1987 sold for Rs 1.44 crore and Rameshwar Broota’s Sewadar swung Rs 1.14 crore.

"Interest for India’s first professional public auction of contemporary craft was evident as the prices attracted three times more than its lower estimate. Bids climbed as bidders upped the price of each lot that went under the hammer," Niranjan Desai, Osian’s spokesperson told ET.
Kalyan Joshi’s Story of Pabuji, a Phad painting from Rajasthan that was awarded the National Merit Award in 2006, sold for Rs 9 lakh, 900% more than its lower estimate.
Sanjay Manubhai Chitara’s work from Gujarat titled Visat Mata sold for Rs 4.5 lakh, 1286% more than its lower estimate.
Hectic floor bidding for a bronze statue by Bangalore-based M.V. Laxmanan, titled Shiva as Vindhara upped its price by 300% as it was finally grabbed for Rs 3.6 lakh.
"The consequences of this auction will be enormous for all the artisans and crafts people of India. It is a huge challenge to absorb this financial high," said Desai.

lundi 23 mars 2009

Art mart imitates economy’s life

Source : Hindustan Times by Gargi Gupta
After the global economic meltdown, the Indian art mart is in a bad way. Everyone knew, of course, but there’s confirmation now in the form of three big auctions that concluded this past week: Saffronart, Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
And more than the moderns — a term used for earlier generation painters such as MF Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee — it is the contemporaries, led by Subodh Gupta, who have been hit the hardest.
A large untitled canvas by Gupta at Saffronart sold for Rs 79,35,000, about 15 per cent less than its lower estimate of Rs 90,00,000 the auction house had fixed. That’s still high, but it’s 86 per cent less than the Rs 6 crore ($1.2 million) that the similarly sized ‘Saat Samundar Par’ fetched at a Christie’s auction in May 2008. At Christie’s most recent South Asian Art sale on Thursday, his untitled canvas went for about Rs 89 lakh.
It’s not just Gupta. An untitled charcoal on paper by Tushar Joag went for Rs 232,875 at Saffronart, far below its Rs 3-4 lakh estimated price range. So did NS Harsha’s ‘Nations’, which went for a little over a crore, as against its asking price of Rs 1.25-1.5 crore.
Auction houses, however, give a positive spin, concentrating on the high valuations a few works by the modern masters have fetched, notably a 1965 VS Gaitonde abstract which fetched $482,500 (nearly Rs 2.5 crore) at Christie’s. As Maithili Parekh, Sotheby’s deputy director for India, says, “Buyers are willing to pay for significant works, provided the provenance of the work is above board and the valuation is right.”

jeudi 19 mars 2009

Sotheby's NY Spring Asian Art Sales Bring $7,231,440 Well Within Expectations

Indian & Southeast Asian Art – March 18, 2009 Source :
Sotheby’s auction of Indian & Southeast Asian Art, which included paintings and works of art, totaled $3,212,501, well within estimates (est. $2.8/4.1 million). Modern paintings accounted for the top eight lots, led by M. F. Husain’s Untitled (Two Women), which sold for $374,500 (est. $150/200,000), followed by F. N. Souza’s Untitled, bringing $302,500 (est. $100/200,000) and Akbar Padamsee’s Untitled (Nude) which achieved $242,500 (est. $200/300,000).
Zara Porter Hill, Director, Head of Sotheby’s Indian & Southeast Asian department, said: “Our strategy for this sale was to put together a tightly edited group of the finest works available, sagely estimated, and we were delighted to see the market respond so positively. It was especially encouraging that 100% of the top ten lots were bought by, or for, established collectors, highlighting the strength at the top end of the market. There was solid interest in 18th-19th century Tibetan paintings, a trend which was initiated by the Jucker sale held at Sotheby’s in March 2006. There is also strong demand for early works of art, rare, good-quality miniature paintings, and for established post-war Modern artists. Clearly auctions containing such works continue to attract top-level interest.”
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art – March 17, 2009 Sotheby’s sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art brought $4,018,939, above the low estimate (est. $3.9/5.6 million), and highlighted superb ceramics from the collection of Gordon Getty: A rare pair of ‘Famille-Rose’ ‘Eight Daoist Immortals’ jars and covers, Qianlong iron-red seal marks and period, which sold for $632,500 (est. $300/400,000) and a rare ‘Famille-Rose’ ‘Boys at Play’ lantern-shaped vase, also Qianlong iron-red seal mark and period, which achieved $602,500 (est. $300/500,000). Other highlights included the large painting of Eight Beauties by Hua Xuan, circa 1736, which brought $374,500 (est. $200/300,000), and The Conquests of the Emperor Qianlong, a set of sixteen engravings and eighteen panels of calligraphy, that reached $164,500, more than four times its high estimate (est. $30/40,000).
Commenting on the sale, Dr. Caroline Schulten, Head of Sotheby’s Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Sales, North America said: “We are very pleased with the results of today’s sale, which demonstrate that in times like these there is demand for rare and high quality works of art with good provenance. We were thrilled to see such strong competition for 18th century Imperial mark and period porcelain, as evidenced by the high prices achieved for the Getty vases and other of today’s top lots, along with the competitive bidding for the set of engravings, sending it to six times its high estimate. Overall, we were encouraged by the number of new buyers competing for many of our top lots.”

mercredi 18 mars 2009

Good Buy

Source : Express India by Georgina Maddox
Auction houses woo buyers with affordable, quality works.
The season of art auctions is here again, with ways to beat the recession blues. Art patrons are once again buying art, since the prices are plummeting. Paper works by master artists are now within reach, while younger and more affordable artists are selling like hot cakes. Indian crafts too are having a good time with newer avenues emerging to find buyers for artifacts.
After its auction on March 13, Saffronart has reported the “grand total” of its sales at Rs 7.8 crore. Even though it falls short of auction earnings like Rs 34 crore only a year back, it brings good news. It indicates that the business is still on and that many top-bracket artists are becoming affordable. The highest bid at Saffronart was Rs 1 crore for N S Harsha’s large painting Nations.
Earlier, Saffronart had set the benchmark of Rs 4-5 crore for Subodh Gupta. Now, Gupta’s canvas has slipped down on the price chart and is sold at Rs 79.35 lakh. His untitled painting of stainless-steel utensils, however, drew the second highest bid at the auction. Not just Gupta, FN Souza too has become more affordable with his paper work going under the hammer at Rs 53.18 lakh.
Saffronart founder Dinesh Vazirani is far from being glum. “The auction mirrors our assessment of the art market. We noticed an interest in new names, and we have sold almost 70 per cent of the works put up for bids. People are still responding to quality works,” he says.

A focus on crafts is emerging, and it will be evident at the upcoming Osian’s auction of pre- and post-independence art. Tying up with the Paramparik Karigar, an organisation of craftspeople, Osian’s will be promoting Patachitra paintings from Orissa, Gond paintings from Madhya Pradesh and Phad from Rajasthan, among others.
“Osian’s is not in panic mode. We are known to introduce new collectibles, like poster art, into the market. Introducing craft is just another step in that direction,” says Neville Tuli.
Noticeably, the craft works are half the price of the modern and contemporary works that are up for sale at the auction. Osian’s will not be charging the usual 20 per cent buyer’s premium on art this time.
Not to be left behind, Christie’s auction of South Asian modern and contemporary art in New York on March 19 has prices that are wallet-friendly. It has paper works by MF Husain costing Rs 6-35 lakh. The auction also has Ram Kumar’s works up for bids at Rs 1 crore — a far cry from the days when the artist’s painting sold for Rs 4 crore and above. It seems like a good time to buy art, but a bad time to sell it.

vendredi 6 mars 2009

The rise and fall of the Indian art scene

Source : Khaleej Times Online
The past fifteen or so years have seen India’s booming economy dramatically propel the country into the 21st century, bringing with it hitherto-undreamt of possibilities, prosperity and success. And, riding in the slipstream of excitement...
unexpected beneficiaries of the sudden affluence, have been the country’s emerging artists, simultaneously enjoying a wave of creativity unequalled since the Modernist movement of the 1950s.
Whereas pre-1990s, the elder statesmen of Modernism — KH Ara, SK Bakre, HA Gade and MF Hussein — dominated the subcontinent’s contemporary art world, recent times have seen a new generation of Indian artists, children of a new inter-connected, multi-cultural world, past the trauma of Independence, embracing a rosy future and commemorating a rich cultural tradition. Artists such as Subodh Gupta, his wife Bharti Kher, Jitish Kallat and Atul Dodiyat came to embody the dynamic, progressive outlook that characterised the best in the burgeoning art scene.
But amidst the current global sturm und drang, the Indian art market has suffered a remarkable battering. The days of profligate spending by speculators and investors, buoyed by mirage-like visions of quick profits and huge returns, have brought the market skidding to a halt in line with the powering-down of the economy.
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