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Boom time sets in Indian art mart

india Updated: Sep 02, 2006 12:21 IST
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It’s a whopping bumper sale. Indian art is up for grabs everywhere, from Mumbai to New York to cyberia.

September, traditionally the beginning of the season in the West, will see also three Indian auction houses holding their art sales. All this adds up to six big opportunities for connoisseurs to replenish their inventory.

Between themselves, these auctions will cover a large range of works under the category of Indian art. Says Sharan Apparao, who is holding an online auction on September 2-3, “Preparing for this auction has taught me so much about Bengal art. I didn’t have trouble sourcing the masters.

The real problem was getting the works of younger artists who are potential wealth.” Apparao’s repertoire includes names like Rabindranath Tagore, Ramkinkar Baij, Jamini Roy, Paresh Maity and Mithu Sen among others.

Christie’s lineup includes Tyeb Mehta, FN Souza, Atul and Anju Dodiya and the like. Besides the modern and contemporary works of art, miniatures too will go on sale in the Sotheby’s auction in New York on September 19.

With growing sensibilities, lay art lovers too are getting gradual ly educated about the mechanics of art. Neville Tuli of Osian’s, whose auction Forty Masterpieces will be held in Mumbai on September 9, says: “Since I started out in 1997-98, working in the art world has also meant changing mindsets and value systems.

Out of 75 cultural disciplines in India, only modern and contemporary art has grown this big because it has been planned systematically.” Auctioneers are also coming to terms with other issues like identifying fakes, insurance, technological application, paperwork, documentation, etc.

For instance, Apparao has applied for a patent for the technology she will use for her online auction, besides appointing experts for authentication.

Adds Tuli “I insist on doing everything on paper.” So, is the time right to reap a rich harvest?

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