Thaindian covers the reaction to ARCO’s focus on Indian art and artists:
“The exhibition was too small and there was too much pop art around. The artists were young and new. It would be good to go deeper into the history of Indian art,” Schutz told IANS.
Experts, artists and gallery owners at the fair attributed the slowdown to two factors. One, the acute recession in Europe which has dented the sale curves of quality artworks across the continent. Two, the unfamiliarity of the conservative and largely insulated Spanish market to trends in contemporary Indian art and the young panorama.
Art historians, reviewers, market watchers and auction analysts said Spanish buyers should have been acquainted through a well-documented showcase tracing the history and chronology of Indian contemporary art over the last 50 years and accompanying discussions on the country’s art history.
Spanish curators also rued that several Indian regions, especially West Bengal, often dubbed the cradle of modern and contemporary art, was not included in the Indian panorama. Even states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu were ignored.
But the deepening recession in Europe was the primary stumbling block that crippled the pace of commerce. This downturn is seeping into the contemporary European art market as well.
At ARCO – which strategically did not put out too many exorbitant art works on sale – high-end Indian art did not find too many takers.