It’s not entirely clear whether Vikram Bachhawat, director of leading Kolkata-based house auction house Emami Chisel Art, endorses the view that the fate of Contemporary Indian art lies in the hands of the world’s super-collectors but Thaindian.com seems to think so:
Collectors, who are flocking to the market to reap the benefits of price correction, are also buying rare works, Bachhawat said. “We recently sold a work by a not-so-investor-friendly, rare Bengal artist, Dharmanarayan Dasgupta, at twice the estimate,” the auctioneer said. He expects the market to pick up next year.
The recession, said curator Bhavna Kakar, has edged out investors and has turned the spotlight on collectors.
“The price and hype bubble have burst,” said entrepreneur-author and art connoisseur Pavan Malhotra, who has co-authored the high-end coffee table book, “Elite Collectors of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art”.
“I think the stature and market for Indian art globally will grow if top international collectors seriously start collecting Indian art. The top 10 collectors of art in the world collect Chinese art. Only a handful like adman-connoisseur Charles Saatchi (who has a gallery of Indian art in London), American hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, business tycoons Elaine and Steven Wynn and French billionaire Francois Pinault have started collecting Indian art two years ago,” Malhotra said.
“Unless big names like US-based millionaire collectors Elie Broad and David Giffen start collecting Indian art, the market will not grow in terms of quality and we will not be able to compete with China, our biggest competitor in Asia. Collectors will gradually steer the Indian art market.”
Indian Art Market Gets a Reality Check (Thaindian.com)