Kishore Singh makes an important plea for Indian art collectors to move beyond the modern masters of Indian art–the Progressive Artists Group typified by Souza and Raza–to help reclaim a lost generation painters:
In recent years, all the records and big ticket sales have been bagged by the Progressives and their associates, whether M F Husain or Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee or Jehangir Sabavala. Well-established international collectors of Indian art, from Emmanuel Schlesinger and Rudy von Laden earlier to Charles Herwitz and Kito de Boer later, gravitated towards these artists, and even recent entrants to the collecting biz have picked the same baton to run with. As a result, the hold of the Progressives and their associates on the market has proved homicidal. Estimates vary to the extent of how much they control the market — between 60 and 80 per cent of the secondary sales, according to analysts — but this feast of a few is doing disservice to Indian art in general. Serious collectors begin wisely with the Progressives, but when they play down the focus on other artists they also collect, it proves detrimental to their financial valuations. Unfortunately, between the Progressives and the recent contemporaries such as Subodh Gupta, Atul Dodiya and Bharati Kher, all the way to Riyas Komu and Manjunath Kamath, there appears to be a lost generation that has slipped below the perception radar.
[…] Sugar baroness Rajshree Pathy might be more flamboyant (and more eclectic in her selection of art), yet despite her intent of setting up an art university and museum in Coimbatore, and owning a fabulous collection in her home in New Delhi, her buys don’t make news yet. This is hardly new: other known collectors, such as Ashok Alexander and Rajesh Sawara, too have refused to be in the collecting spotlight. Yet, what we need today are collectors who will divert attention away from the Progressives (who will continue to thrive on the decades of adulation they have enjoyed) — to those artists who have segued into the peripheries of popular perception.
Wanted: A Charles Saatchi for India (Business Standard)