Colin Gleadell’s column on Indian Modern artists finally receiving major attention in international museums touches on several important themes including the truly global nature of high Modernism, the lack of representation for women artists and role collectors have played in establishing the cultural value of an artist’s work long before institutions are able to do so.
Nasreen Mohamedi is getting a show at the Met’s new Breuer building. None of this would have been possible without the foresight of a single collector:
“When she was alive there was no market for her work,” says Deepak Talwar, owner of the Talwar Gallery in New York which represents Mohamedi’s estate. It was not until 13 years after her death that she received her first exhibition outside India. “In 2003, when I started exhibiting her work, examples would sell for just a few thousand dollars.”
Recently, though, interest has snowballed. In 2013 she was given a solo exhibition at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Delhi. Nadar, the wife of a techno billionaire, is one of India’s leading collectors. In 2010 she paid a record £2.4 million for a large, colourful abstract painting by S.H Raza. She also owns the biggest collection of Mohamedi’s work anywhere – 130 from a total output numbered only in the hundreds. Her exhibition then travelled to the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, destined finally for the opening of The Met Breuer. During that time, prices for Mohamedi’s work at auction have soared to a record $274,651 (£181,157) at Christie’s in Mumbai last December. But her work can sell for up to $500,000 privately, says Talwar.
Art Sales: Indian art on the rise (Telegraph)