The Business Standard talks to Christie’s Sonal Singh about the company’s future plans in India:
What next after Christie’s maiden auction in India, held last year?
We were overwhelmed by the response. We are now planning for the next auction that is likely to be held in the first half of December. The date and venue will be announced soon. The team has already started sourcing for the sale.
While last year, most of the lots were from the estate of Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy with 30 lots from other private collectors, this year 80 to 100 lots will feature both modern and contemporary works. We are in a privileged position to sell non-exportable national treasures within India. Last year we featured six of the national treasures.
Amrita Sher-Gil and the three Tagores — Rabindranath, Abanindranath and Gaganendranath — are on our wish list. The idea is to showcase the growth of Indian modern and contemporary art across the country — be it the Bengal school, the Progressives in Mumbai, the Baroda school of art and the Chennai style. The auction should be representative of all regions and schools of art prevalent in India.
The auction brought VS Gaitonde into the spotlight in the international art market. What is the international standing of Indian art?
VS Gaitonde is one of our most important art abstractionists along with Nasreen Mohamedi. It’s not easy to get a Gaitonde piece, he made only six to eight a year. Last year, we had one very early painting and another one from the 1970s. So these two represented two very different aspects of his career. We promised to loan the works to Guggenheim for the Gaitonde retrospective, no matter who bought it.
We work with museums for things like that, it is about building the art market. We also supported shows of MF Husain in London this year. As far as the international art world is concerned, India is already on the map. There is a Nasreen Mohamedi exhibition at Tate Liverpool till October 5, 2014.
Christie’s next auction in India to be held in December: Sonal Singh (Business Standard News)