The Art Newspaper anoints the Indian Art Summit, after two editions, as a regular stop on the international art circuit. And who gets the credit? Reluctantly TAN gives Sotheby’s some props:
Similarities to Art Dubai were widely remarked upon, particularly in the layout and design. Until now, the Gulf fair has been the leading international marketplace for Indian contemporary art, a situation seemingly now rectified by the India Art Summit.
“It is important that this fair brings Delhi to the fore as India’s culture capital,” says Renu Modi, whose Gallery Espace is one of the city’s leading contemporary art spaces. “I think everyone was just hoping it would be a bit better than last year, but I don’t think anyone expected such a transformation.” Some credit must certainly be due to the partnership with Sotheby’s, a deal done even before the fair’s debut last year.
Hold on, though. TAN hardly lets the compliment slip before raising questions about the propriety of art dealers consorting with auction houses.
While the idea of an auction house partnering a major art fair raised a few eyebrows, in India a sense of realism prevails when it comes to the ever-changing and frequently blurred relationships in the commercial art world. It is an often uncomfortable state of affairs, but in a country where auction houses, art funds and galleries merge with little or no legislative control from an administration almost entirely oblivious to the arts, and where so many cultural initiatives come from the commercial world, conflicts of interest remain an inevitability.
Delhi Contemporary Art Fair Transformed (The Art Newspaper)