Kishore Singh brings up an unmentionable truth in the Business Standard about the art market: it is a terrible mechanism for assessing great art.
Every once in a while the art market manages to astound you — no, not because of any unexplained surge in prices (which is fairly routine) but because of how it underrates artists. Art writers chasing the chimera of high prices sometimes fail to spot a great opportunity – and of course, its mystery – because the exact opposite is rarely written about. And of no one is this more true than the reserved Madhvi Parekh who has been part of the art circuit since her first exhibition in 1972, her obvious acknowledgement and success, but still, her yawning distance from the market.
In the glitz and glamour that surrounds high art, Madhvi Parekh is easily overlooked — and not just because she is diminutive but because she is less than demanding. In a keenly awaited book on the artist (A World of Memories, Penguin, Rs 2,999), essayist Peter Nagy reminds viewers of “the importance of her work as a bridge between the village and the city…a bridge between the avant-garde and the traditional arts”. If he explains the “secular” nature of her art despite its domination by deities and gods and goddesses and, increasingly in this decade, of Christ replacing the Hindu gods of her own environment, it is perhaps a nod to the storytelling tradition of naïf artists that manages to escape the dogmas of more formal art practices. Nagy himself explains that “her works may cross over from a native charm to a self-conscious surrealism”.
Abracadabra – It’s Gone! (Business Standard)