India’s Emerging Art Market
According to a Reuters article titled Indian art offers high appreciation at volatile time Indian Art has been identified as high growth sector from the investment point of view. Indian Art and artists are still perceived to be undervalued and experts opine that growth potential here is huge with appreciation levels between 18 and 25% per annum seen as a reasonable prediction. The art market in India being dominated by investors rather than collectors, this market has gone up 200 times in the past five years and what is being predicted is that if you pay a certain price right now, it will seem like peanuts 50 years down the line. Some art pundits are of the view that some of the Indian artists’ work is almost like a financial commodity ‘like a stock’. Perhaps one of the last of the tangible assets in a demat world! Among Indian artists currently perceived to be highly desirable in the West, the following names are noteworthy:
Maqbool Fida Husain, or M F Husaindubbed the Picassoof India, is perhaps the best known face of Indian art. Frequently controversial and highly prodigious, he is a colossus who famously began his career painting Hindi film posters, and is now one of the most influential and sought after painters who has straddled the Indian art scene for decades now. This painting of Bharatmata (Mother India) is just one that has embroiled him in controversy, litigation and even a threat to his life.
Syed Haider Raza or S H Raza has lived and worked in France since 1950, but maintains strong ties with India. His works are mainly abstracts in oil or acrylic, with a very rich use of color, replete with icons from Indian cosmology as well as its philosophy.
Tyeb Mehta (25 July 1925 - 2 July 2009) holds the record for the highest price an Indian painting has ever sold in a public auction ($317,500 USD or 15 million Indian rupees) for his triptych Celebration at Christie's in 2002. His painting here entitled Mahishasura (a figure of Hindu mythology) is perhaps his most famous work.
Francis Newton Souza (April 12, 1924 - March 28, 2002) was was the first avant-garde artist from India to achieve widespread recognition in the West.
as one of the ‘hot’ new artists, and his work includes sculpture, installation,
painting, photography, performance and video. Common images and objects in
Gupta’s work are taken from prominent clichés about Indian culture, for
example, his prevalent use of stainless steel cooking utensils. His work is deliciously representative of the Indian way of life, its peculiarities and its societal imagery. The first picutre below of the sunken taxi is incredibly evocative of each monsoon in Mumbai. The last one is remeniscent of the itinerant NRI (non resident Indian) and so on.