Colin Gleadell gives a quick summary of the market for Contemporary Indian art in the Telegraph. With ARCO focusing on the Indian galleries, Gleadell looks at the rise and fall of prices for Indian artists and the role of art funds and flippers in the process:
In December, the specialist auction house Saffron Art in Mumbai saw sales from a regular Indian art auction fall from an average $7 million (£3.5 million) throughout the year to just $2.8 million.
As a result, the next Indian art auctions, which are to be held in New York this March, have been severely trimmed. Christie’s, which took nearly $18 million for modern and contemporary Indian art in September 2006, is expecting only a third of that at most. Deepak Shahdadpuri, a Mumbai-based collector, says his biggest concern is what will happen when the numerous funds for Indian art have to realise their invested capital. An estimated $30 million to $40 million has been poured into Indian art investment funds over the last four years. Depending on the terms of their contracts, they could have to start unloading as early as 2010, potentially flooding a market that might not be ready to return those investments. [ . . . ]
Conor Macklin, the director of the Grosvenor Vadehra Gallery in St James’s, where Santhosh’s latest works are to be shown, believes that the primary market, where galleries provide the first point of sale for an artist, now offers the best opportunities for collectors. Whereas Santhosh has seen his prices at auction soar to more than £350,000 at auction, his new paintings are priced at £60,000, and some have already been sold.
“The problem with the hottest Indian artists,” says Macklin, “was that speculators would buy them out in the galleries and then resell them at auction for much more.” That is a practice that is now firmly in the past.
Art Sales: TV Santhosh’s Living with a Wound (Telegraph)