VIDEO: Christie’s: South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art Auction

Interview transcript

Deepanjana Klein: When you put these exhibitions together, there is a lot that goes on behind the scene. What we’ve done is we’ve clearly focused on contemporaries, who are showing in museums internationally, who are participating in international biennials and who we truly believe are the Modernists of the future. Like, for instance, you are standing right in front of Atul Dodiya. He is currently showing at The Arken Museum, he’s got a show going on in Paris that’s starting in a few days. We have Subodh Gupta, also showing at The Arken Museum. You have N.S. Harsha who is currently in Berlin for a one year artist residency. Then you have Rina Banerjee, who is a New Yorker, so we specially love her. She just had a solo show at Musee Guimet in Paris and she has another show coming up in Brussels – a solo exhibition.

Most interestingly we have A. Balasubramaniam. Bala is extremely important giving that he is an artist who is working in sculptures and installations. This is an artist who has shown at the MoMA, he’s shown at the most major museum in a world alongside Calder, Agnes Martin and this was one of his first works from 2002, which shows that the wall becomes a skin and he starts pulling it, it’s always his body that comes in to play.

He was so not prolific and so there is so few works that come to the market. However, the importance of this work can not be over emphasized. To have a work of this scale, this palette, the provenance and a condition! Then you have the Padamsee, again, it’s one of the Modernness works. You can’t always see works of this quality, so needless to say that it goes into a collection and it will not come out, so this finite  body of work keeps getting smaller and smaller that we can bring to the market.

This is a beautiful Raza, which is also very unique in its style as well as in its format. Generally you see Raza’s which are horizontal, but this one is a vertical piece called Ardash and if you see the way he’s worked, it’s all thick pallet knife and pastel, it’s absolutely brilliant.

We are talking about a time when Padamsee wrote that letter to his daughter. There was no internet, there were very few artist who were flying all over the place. Padamsee was in Paris, Raza was in Paris, Tayeb [Mehta], [Vasudeo S.] Gaitonde — they moved around, they came to London, they came to New York. It was Husain who also came to New York, went back. It was a time when these artists worked really hard to get where they were, there was not much patronage, whereas today the world has shrunk. Just the technology, so artists have access to world art, world exhibitions, museums, it’s no more Vedic references or tantric references — these Modernist artists were talking about. It’s more about globalization, it’s more about urbanization, it’s more about the environment. So that’s were the younger artist are driving inspiration from.

The sale was conducted on September 12, 2012 at Christie’s main auction headquarters in New York.

This article and video interview © galleryIntell. Images courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.

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