Last year, Christie’s held its first auction in Mumbai, opening up a new market with a long-term strategy. The sale made $15.4m, twice the estimate, and featured top Indian Modern artists including Tyeb Mehta and Vasudeo S. Gaitonde who is currently the subject of a retrospective that just opened at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The top three lots, a Gaitonde and two Mehtas, sold for well above the estimates.
Christie’s is gearing up for another sale in Mumbai this December. But there are some, including the noted Indian art market expert Kishore Singh, who see the first sale as more of an illustration of Christie’s might than a measure of the maturity of the Indian art market:
Singh, head, publications & exhibitions, Delhi Art Gallery, says everyone is waiting and watching for Christie’s second auction that will truly define the market for Indian art. “The first auction was a superb collection of artworks and had the entire might of Christie’s behind it. Let’s see if the second auction matches it in terms of quality and value.” He terms the first auction an ‘aberration’, saying only sustained success will help the Indian market, especially unestablished artists. He also points out that no phenomenal sales of Indian art happened globally immediately after the auction in India.
Christie’s bids for another high in Indian art market (Financial Express)