After the Spring sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Saffronart, Delhi-based journalist John Elliott takes stock of the Indian art market on his blog, Riding the Elephant. Elliott finds:
Dealers talk about difficulty finding and persuading buyers to offer good works that will fetch top prices, partly because many have already been sold in recent years, and because of current economic uncertainty, especially in India with high inflation and a threatened slow-down in growth. […] The market has been flooded with works by Husain and Souza in recent years, which has affected demand. Last summer, Christie’s had a spectacular sale of Souza drawings and paintings that were being sold by his family’s estate. This year there were more works owned by the family, but they did not generate the same excitement or prices. […]
This is not a market for investors looking for quick profits, but it is good for committed collectors, newcomers and established buyers, with the best works selling well if offered at sensible prices. The market is waiting to discover what happens now to Husain – there are many of his works waiting to be sold but it is not clear yet when they will emerge, nor what the appetite will be.
India’s Modern and Contemporary Art Market Wobbles (Riding the Elephant)