Art for art’s sake

Art for art’s sake
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First Published: Tue, Dec 09 2008. 08 07 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Dec 09 2008. 08 07 PM IST
New Delhi: Despite an economic downturn, Saffronart has decided to hold an online auction of famous photographs and paintings by renowned artists. Included in this are two of Subodh Gupta’s artworks. One of the paintings, an untitled work from 2006, is estimated to sell between Rs 1,20,00,000 - Rs 1,68,00,000. Another untitled work, from 2005, is expected to sell between Rs 1,25,00,000 - Rs 1,75,00,000. The auction will take place on December 10 and 11.
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Subodh Gupta’s work titled ‘DOOT’, expected to be the star of a November 30th Christie’s auction held in Hong Kong, went unsold.
But that’s not something that bothers either Gupta or his wife Bharti Kher, who is also a well-known artist. Speaking to Mint at their studio in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of Delhi, Gupta says, ”For an artist, for me, for us, making art is the most important thing. 10 years ago when we were not selling artwork we still made art. Yesterday when we were selling art that time were making art. Tomorrow if we sell or not we will still make art.”
About the downturn in the art market, Gupta predicts it will suffer for another two to three years and even expects many galleries to close down during this period. But he also expects the Indian art market to make a come back after that, perhaps stronger than ever before, he says. On the surge in the art market in recent years, Kher says, ”There’s no government or institutional support. So in some ways what happened in India over the last six years, this great boom, it gave them [artists] a chance to build studios, get money together, start making money. There was a lot of experimentation.”
What’s next for the artist couple? They’ll both be displaying installations at Hauser and Wirth in London early next year.
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First Published: Tue, Dec 09 2008. 08 07 PM IST