Nina Martyris gives the usual line in the Times of India about money chasing mediocrity in her pocket history of the rise of Indian art during the last decade. But she ends up on a very positive note:
The dramatic story of Indian art in the new millennium was adroitly captured by an R K Laxman pocket cartoon a few years ago. In the sketch, a little boy says he wants to grow up to do his MBA, but his parents, with dollar signs glinting in their eyes, are thrusting paper and crayons at him and begging him to paint. […]
In the last decade, the one word that rhymed and chimed perfectly with art was mart. […] But as the decade draws to a close, there are strong signs of recovery. A year ago, Tina Ambani paid $2.5m for a Souza, which is now the highest-priced Indian painting. In the last spree of auctions , although volume hasn’t touched 2005 levels, works by Husain and Souza have sold at several times over estimates. The price correction has also had a positive impact on broader and deeper levels. For one, the growth of institutions like galleries and museums has lent depth to the market. Auction houses have made it possible for artists to get their due and broken the stranglehold of the collector. The contemporary art scene is a creative crucible with young artists exploring unconventional new media and choosing bold and fresh themes. Most important of all, has been the slow but nurturing rise of an intellectual ecology – art fairs, debates, books, journals, anti-censorship protests – that has helped kindle a genuine love for art and educate buyers beyond knowing that a horse is by Husain and a bindu by Raza.
The Colour of Success (Times of India)