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Joining the Dots

<i>Ahead of the formal opening of the India Art Summit,gallerists are already busy with sales</i>

Written by Vandana Kalra |
January 25, 2011 6:44:27 am

Ahead of the formal opening of the India Art Summit,gallerists are already busy with sales

Even before the annual India Art Summit opened its doors to collectors on Thursday evening,gallerists participating were recording sales in their register. Soon after the private preview began for a select few at Hall No 18,in Pragati Maidan,Ashish Anand,director of Delhi Art Gallery,had already sold a work. A Delhi-based collector picked up a Somnath Hore 1957 oil on canvas,Congregation in a Village,for Rs 75 lakh. “There is a lot of buzz,we are expecting a footfall of over 60,000,some of which is expected to convert into sales,” said Anand,who has over 100 artworks of 40 artists,including FN Souza,SH Raza,MF Husain,Jamini Roy and Bhupen Khakhar.

In its third edition,the India Art Summit,has 84 galleries participating this year. “There are a lot of people who have travelled to Delhi for the Summit,and we have a lot of expectations,” said Bhavna Kakar,director,Latitude 28. Before the clock struck three in the afternoon,three of the 25 artworks on display at her booth C 12 wore the red sales dot. “They were sold to people whom I know from before,” said Kakar,pointing out the coveted works — Prajjwal Choudhury’s installations Everything has been done before,but we like to go back and begin all over again and Desire is Destroyed with the Destruction of Desire; and Dilip Chobisa’s untitled watercolour on acrylic,framed with chrome mirror.

At her booth,Renu Modi,director of Gallery Espace,had a collector waiting to choose from Manjunath Kamath’s digital work,before the crowd trooped in. “From the pre-publicity of the Summit,they already knew who I am showcasing,” said Modi. Even before the collector walked in,she sold two works at her booth. Waswo X’s hand-coloured black and white digital photograph titled The Picnic went for Rs 85,000 and Chintan Upadhyay’s untitled oil on canvas fetched Rs 27 lakh. “I’m extremely happy. A curator from a museum in Texas has shown interest in another work of Chintan,” said a delighted Modi,who is also showcasing the art work of Mrinalini Mukherjee,Karl Antao,Chintan Upadhyay and Reena Banerjee.

“It is definitely bigger and better,” said Mukesh Panika,director,Religare arts.i,about the summit,while giving finishing touches at his booth. Comparing it to the last edition of the summit held in August 2009,he added,“During the last summit,the market was just picking up. Now that things are better we expect a lot of sales.” On Day One,he had three queries for artist Julius Macwan’s 93×78 inch acrylic Time Bomb/The Death of Art,priced at Rs 15 lakh. “We have kept the price range reasonable,from Rs 25,000 to 25 lakh,” said Panika,pointing out that the work of six others artists at his booth — including Anant Mishra,Samar Jodha,Jenson Anto,Arijoy Bhattacharya — too generated interest.

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