Archivists and collectors of art who attended the India Art Fair in Delhi are upbeat again, after the slump that followed the 2008 global financial meltdown. Prices are more realistic, after the escalation that preceded 2008.
A cross section of collectors, promoters and art market analysts at the fifth edition of the India Art Fair 2013 that concluded Sunday in the national capital said new segments of collector-archivists are emerging, from among young corporate professionals with high disposable income, and even international museums like the Tate Modern and Guggenhiem, looking to put together South Asian collections.
Analysts say India, with an estimated annual art market turnover of more than R2,000 crore, is central to the growth of the collectors’ market in South Asia.
“Nowhere else in the world is there so much money to spend as in India. This year is one of real collectors and real sale,” said Neha Kirpal, founding-director of the India Art Fair.
“Nearly 20 booths sold out completely in two days at the fair. There were 23 museums. We have been working for the last two years to build a collectors’ base with an initiative, Collectors’ Circle,” Kirpal said.
“The lack of hype in the market has made people feel that art is not selling. But I think very important collections are being built, with several serious collectors in Mumbai,” said art writer-curator Kishore Singh, head of exhibitions and publications at Delhi Art Gallery. Parul Vadehra of Vadehra Art Gallery said: “A lot of old collectors are back, and the frenzy of pre-2008 is gone.”