Indian art makes a big splash in global markets

Ashoke Nag, ET Bureau

KOLKATA: It’s an Indian autumn in the art scene in London. India is all over the map this October. Starting from critically-acclaimed art shows
by Indian artists, Indian art on offer at Sotheby’s and Indian art and galleries at the famed Frieze Art Fair, have all created a buzz around India in the UK.

Sotheby’s staged its contemporary art auction a few days back in London which included works by South Asian artists Anish Kapoor and Rashid Rana. The work by Mr Kapoor, a polished stainless steel work was executed in 1997. James Sevier, a specialist in the contemporary art department at Sotheby’s, told ET in an email from London: “Mr Kapoor’s work dates from his breakthrough using this medium of hyper-reflective polished and was created in a decade that witnessed Mr Kapoor winning the Premio Duemilla Prize for his British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1990, winning the Turner Prize in 1991 and staging a major retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in 1998.” The work was estimated at £600,000-£800,000.

“Sotheby’s was proud to offer the monumental work by Anish Kapoor, which manifests all the pioneering ingenuity in material and spatial possibilities that characterise the very best output of the world-renowned sculptor,” Mr Sevier said.

The offering of this work of Anish Kapoor in the Sotheby’s sale coincided with the spectacular solo exhibition of the artist’s work, ‘Anish Kapoor’ at the Royal Academy of Arts. The exhibition surveys Mr Kapoor’s career to date showcasing a number of new and previously unseen works. “These include a select group of Mr Kapoor’s early pigment sculptures, beguiling mirror-polished stainless steel sculptures and cement sculptures on display for the first time,” Mr Sevier said. “The exhibition also includes highlights such as the monumental work Svayambh, which in Sanskrit, means ‘self-generated’.

Interestingly, Sotheby’s is also hosting its outdoor sculpture exhibition, Beyond Limits, at Chatsworth, the picturesque gardens of the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

In step, the annual art fair in London, Frieze, is showcasing art from the sub-continent, including works by Sarnath Banerjee, Neha Choksi, Avinash Veeraghavan, Sakshi Gupta, Dayanita Singh, Bharti Kher and Subodh Gupta. Project 88 from Mumbai, which has its parent Gallery 88 in Kolkata, is the Indian gallery participating at Frieze. Sree Goswami, director of Project 88, said: “We are delighted to be the only Indian gallery at Frieze this year. The response has been terrific. Neha Choksi and Sarnath Banerjee represent the young generation of Indian contemporary artists, and this has been a wonderful platform to show their works to an international audience.”
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