There are few commentators with experience, acuity and authority in the Indian art market greater than the Business Standard’s Kishore Singh. But even he is hard pressed to divine the meaning of Arpita Singh’s record-setting price in Saffronart’s recent Winter auction. Though Arpita Singh got much of the press surrounding the sale, Kishore Singh has seen the false dawn before as a few bright sales in an artist’s market fail to turn into a flame.
What does this say about the state of the markets but that the younger contemporaries who were dealt a crippling blow on account of the recession have yet to recover from its severity?
With few exceptions (N S Harsha managed Rs 46 lakh for his Running around the Nectars of Time, Shibu Natesan’s Jha-Love fetched Rs 49.7 lakh, Rameshwar Broota’s characteristic Untitled sold for Rs 32 lakh against their counterparts Ram Kumar’s Untitled,Rs 40 lakh, Jehangir Sabavala’s The Thundercloud, Rs 36 lakh, and N S Bendre’s Untitled, Rs 39 lakh), the valuations for Atul and Anju Dodiya, Jitish Kallat, Sudhir Patwardhan and T V Santhosh were more modest than extraordinary. In part, this is because collectors who’d put their wealth behind the contemporaries and burned their fingers during the economic meltdown are now not trusting themselves too far beyond the tested Souza & Co.
Master Class (Business Standard)