Contemporary Indian Art – Its Allure for the Serious Art Collector



2019-06-10 12:21:58

When is it not a good time to talk about art? Art is one of the cultural aspects deeply woven into the fabric of being – it is, essentially, what separates us from uncultured beings. With that somber thought in mind, let us take a more practical, “real world” look at how Indian contemporary art is fairing in the US art collection market.

It is no revelation that the art market is getting lucrative with each and every passing year. This fact is proved in financial terms by the total estimate of the 351 lots that went under the hammer from 4 auction houses in March 2019 – the auction houses being the biggest names in the sector: Saffronart, Sotheby’s, AstaGuru and Christie’s. The value of this total estimate quoted to the press was in the ballpark of 225 crore Indian rupees – not an insignificant sum by any measure.

Speaking of this lot of art specifically, there was a majority representation of extra small artworks, that is, those pieces that are below 600 square inches in size. Works by renowned Indian artists who have solid reputations has obviously contributed to the high estimates. Names among the artists represented by their output include M F Husain, F N Souza, V S Gaitonde, Jamini Roy and even Raja Ravi Verma, an artist of yore.

But this superb economic optimism is only one side of the coin.


The Poorer State of Affairs for Poorly Represented Artists

There is, quite admittedly, a giant potential for commercialism of up to date Indian art. It is also true that lots and lots of galleries are increasingly shopping for works by Indian artists and exhibiting them in cities worldwide. A few of these cities are Amsterdam, Paris and Bruxelles – centers of art and culture that make sure the art reaches Western (and, by Extension, American) audiences. As art gets shared and talked about more and more (like the thought at the opening of this piece of writing), Asian nations’ art appears to possess high value for buyers, especially from artists who have ‘arrived’ in the international art scene and are known names in auctioneers like the aforementioned Sotheby’s and Christie’s – who, not entirely incidentally, have established major regional offices in India. The potential for increasing India’s art market is big, and it is poised well to become the art hub of the Southeast Asiatic region.

In the recent past, however, the art market worldwide has faced reversals even when experiencing growth in the previous years. This was attributed to the global factors of Brexit, worldwide economic slumps, the famously volatile and caustic USA elections (won by a man whose idea of art is a McDonalds’ burger with ketchup smattered on it like a Jackson Pollock creation) and, at a stretch, even the Syrian civil war and constitutional crisis that created uncertainty within the minds of art collectors.

In India, the art business has grown negative as a result of many folks who used illegal cash to get art and park their unlawful funds. Now, they appear to be holding on to their cash rather than shopping for art. This adversely affected the art market, particularly the lower sector comprising of less acknowledged painters, traders in generic traditional objects and hand-made souvenirs. However, better accounting has also brought in a transparency that wasn't there before.

Currently, payments are made in cheques which can profit the artists directly, as galleries cannot hide any sale’s worth from artists. The collections curated by prime patrons were evaluated just below one hundred crore Indian rupees in 2015, a figure sure to have risen in the past 4 years.


The art market cannot flourish if there's an ostensible vacuum within the public. Youngsters have to be compelled into art appreciation and brought almost forcibly – sometimes, actually forcibly – to museums and art galleries. Municipal firms have art promotional schemes and sponsor creative creations in urban areas in several countries like America. In India, art continues to be thought of a luxury product and most galleries and museums are sometimes empty most of the time.


The Indian art market has been dominated by huge names like M F Husain, Tyeb Mehta, V S Gaitonde, Raza and F N Souza, whose works have raked in crores of rupees in recent times. However, there are thousands of lesser acknowledged artists who make a living by commercially selling their art work. For them, e-commerce businesses like Indian Art Ideas could be a smart chance to showcase their work. The simplest issue concerning e -commerce is that it's accessible to all social classes of patrons, and not only the wealthy.


If the Indian art market thrives, then it'll additionally profit less famous but talented artists, who can hope for higher incomes. Indian Art Ideas is a marketplace for people and social group art, as not a lot of art is explored by auction homes and galleries. These artists’ works require nurturing by patrons in the US and India – else, they might become extinct over time.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it