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Monday, Oct 25, 2021
Outlook.com

Art For NRI's Sake

Indian paintings are raking in the big bucks at auctions abroad, but with unexpected results

Art For NRI's Sake
Art For NRI's Sake
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

PAINT in India, sell in London. Or New York. That seems to be the way hundreds of contemporary Indian paintings have travelled over the past 12 months or so. The auction at Sotheby’s in London this month was only another, and certainly not the last. An auction by Sotheby’s in India in 1989 with The Times of India and then again in 1992 had spun more controversy than money. The recent auctions abroad have struck dollars, about a million an auction.

Suddenly, the art market has become busier outside India than within. Christie’s, the other big auction house in England, held its first auction of contemporary Indian art in London a year ago. That came shortly after an auction by Sotheby’s in New York from a collection by the American pair Chester and Davida Herwitz in New York. Sotheby’s auctioned another lot from the same collection in April this year in New York before the London auction last week.

But international auction venues are no indication of the West finally waking up to Indian contemporary art. Few...

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