India’s Business Standard leads up to next week’s India Art Summit with this commentary on the Contemporary Indian art market:
Arriviste galleries and gallerists mocked the older, longer established art institutions for not doing enough, for playing safe with pre-moderns and moderns, for lacking the guts to turn experimental, for being critical of younger talent [….] Certainly, international art fairs and buyers seemed to prefer the contemporary artists who appeared to have escaped the confines of geography, instead of the long-standing moderns who are now being collected only by rich but older Indians and NRIs.
But no sooner than the gauntlet was thrown, they reverse course and praise one of the leading contemporary galleries, Bodhi Art:
The shows were intelligent, the attendant staff well versed in art, and everything came professionally packaged — from brilliantly produced catalogues that made documentation an essential part not just of its own shows, but pretty much mandatory for all other galleries in the country. It attracted the marquee names among contemporary artists, and also a whole bunch of younger artists who needed a platform and nurturing.
Even so, Bodhi has retrenched to the point where even the sole remaining gallery in Mumbai is under seige:
And yet, Bodhi had done everything that was probably right and supportive (of artists) and meant to provide rigour (for collectors) […] How Bodhi grapples with the situation and whether it is able to extricate value from its inventory and line-up of artists will be closely watched not just by the trade but also by collectors.
… We All Fall Down! (Business Standard)