Indian contemporary art is on a clear recovery path and art represented at the upcoming Christie’s South Asian Modern and Contemporary sale is a clear example of this upward trend. Deepanjana Klein, Vice President, Specialist Head of Sale, South Asian Modern & Contemporary Art at Christie’s, New York met with galleryIntell, and talked about the importance of many of the works in this morning’s sale.
The selection is impressive not only for its breadth of well-known names, like Tyeb Mehta, M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee, but also for its clever inclusion of the prominent contemporary South Asian artists like Subodh Gupta & A. Balasubramamium, among others, whose resumes include exhibitions at international bienniales, and art fairs. Artists represented in this sale are in permanent collections of the most important global museums and command prices upwards of tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
India is renowned for its wealth of diverse cultures, resulting in the traditional religious and folk imagery, as well as philosophical concepts and ideas that have inspired artists through the ages. As such, M. F. Husain explored the storylines and imagery of the “Ramayana & Mahabharata”, there is the ‘bindu‘ by S. H. Raza, the stainless steel tiffin box by Subodh Gupta, and so on. There is an interesting twist to influences of the Indian modern artists – while the subjects are essentially of Indian origin, the styles are largely international, for example, M. F. Husain applied a modified Cubist approach, and S. H. Raza‘s influencers included Marc Chagall, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse & Pablo Picasso. Deepanjana Klein talked about how influences on Indian art have changed from the traditional vedic and tantric sources to the issues of globalization, technology and communication that inspire the contemporary Indian artists today.
Video interview transcript on page 2