New York: Following two successful exhibitions in Mumbai, Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, returns to New Delhi with an exclusive preview of modern and contemporary Indian art and watches on 24August.
The pieces on display include Indian paintings and watches which will be offered during Christie’s sales in New York and Dubai which are scheduled for the autumn of 2007. Christie’s recognizes India’s huge potential and is happy to connect one of the world’s largest art venues with a growing and receptive Indian audience.
“Christie’s has had a presence in India for more than a decade. It testifies our belief in the incredible influence of the country, its art and the market. Exclusive previews in India, which for the first time include watches hopes to bring together established collectors, connoisseurs and new entrants for whom these previews provide a way to discover the art and magic of Christie’s,” said Ganieve Grewal, Christie’s Representative in India.
Christie’s earlier brush with India
In the spring of 2007, Christie’s international Modern and Contemporary Indian Art department, headed by Senior Director Yamini Mehta, organized auctions of 20th and 21st century Indian paintings and sculpture in Dubai, New York, Hong Kong and London, positioning the collecting category at a global level.
Not only has the field been entered by first time buyers and bidders that are not part of the Indian community, there has been an increasing amount of crossover from other collecting areas like postwar and contemporary art and modern and impressionist art.
The autumn season will see exhibitions and sales of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art at Christie’s main salesrooms. In 2006, Christie’s realized a record total of $42 million (Rs168 crore) while the spring season concluded with strong results of $27.1 million.
Christie’s International Watch department, led by international directors Aurel Bacs and Tim Bourne, offers over 12 auctions annually of fine and rare watches, with sales in Geneva, New York, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Expected scene stealers
* Bhupen Khakkar’s “I, Me, My Village” (estimate: $200,000-250,000): The artist employs devices of popular Indian religious imagery, early Italian painting, Byzantine icons and Indian Miniature painting. In this work, the artist juxtaposes scenes of Indian village life with Hindu imagery identified in the painted portrait of Shiva, alongside more allegorical elements, including a quaint townscape in the distance.
* Contemporary artist Jitish Kallat’s “Covering Letter 7” (estimate: $40,000-60,000) resurrects strewn debris of mass media, piecing together old photographs, faxes and photocopies to create a visual collage from which he paints his canvases. Splashing words like truncated slogans across his paintings, he exposes the idiosyncrasies of mechanical reproduction by revealing the grainy resolutions and cropped compositions of his news clippings and internet printouts.
*Justin Ponmany’s holographic paintings find their subject matter in the detritus, gutters and alleyways of life in Mumbai. Concerned with the brute Darwinian quality of life in a megalopolis, Ponmany composes his paintings based on photographs of people and places that he either extracts from the media or crafts himself. His tools are often industrial; the artist infects his surfaces with plastic, resin, printer’s ink, salt and holograms to create his weathered and visceral imagery. Ponmany will be represented in New Delhi with Untitled Diptych.
The Modern and Contemporary Indian Art sale will take place at Christie’s in New York on September 20 will feature works from the progressive movement artists and creations from the most cutting edge contemporary prodigies.
Other artists whose works would be on display include Atul Dodiya, TV Santosh and Chitra Ganesh.
For more details visit Christie’s Web site at www.christies.com