Even if we are still far from the popularity of Chinese or Western peaks, the Indian contemporary art market has recently experienced unprecedented vigor. And for good reason, the paintings of many Indian painters are selling at prices higher and higher. It’s hard to ignore the popularity of such artists as Maqbool Fida Husain, Vasudeo Gaitonde and Francis Newton Souza. When it comes to the abstract paintings the options get all the better now.
Contemporary Art: Emblem Of Indian Modernity
Until recently, Indian art was not classified in the category of contemporary art. It was considered rather a part of the traditional and spiritual arts of India. This consideration was valid even at the level of the international art market. Today, many Indian artists use their heritage to create works of art. And these are considered as genuine pieces of contemporary art.
And for good reason, Indian artists are now observers and critics. They are also politically engaged, not hesitating to express their thoughts, frustrations and social desires through their works. The attraction for Indian art is not new: it started in 1995. Unfortunately with the global crisis of the 2000s, momentum broke and then resume in 2005. These periods coincide with the radical changes occurred in the world of Indian art.
Reasons For Growing Popularity
Several reasons explain the growth of the popularity of Indian art. Most of them are related to his recent career. While in its early years, Indian paintings seemed to be primarily interested in society, the arrival of modernist artists has brought radical changes in the artistic outlook of India. The topics covered coincided with the different moments crossed by the country: nationalists, modernists, social sensitivity.
Another important reason for the popularity of Indian artists is the diversity of artistic impulses developed in India. They helped local artists push their boundaries and create art for an international audience. In the process, some artists have even decided to integrate foreign influences into their work in order to enrich their art.
Francis Newton Souza – Untitled (Townscape) (1962)
The craze for Indian paintings is general. On the one hand, the rise of new Indian moguls, local collectors allow works by Indian artists to reach record prices at auction: the Indians themselves are great art lovers. The paintings of Vasudeo Gaitonde are among the most expensive works: one of his abstract paintings sold for $ 4.4 million in December 2015. The works of artists such as MF Husain or Francis Newton Souza are also popular.
On the other hand, Indian paintings are also highly appreciated by foreign collectors such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. One of the main reasons for this phenomenon, the rarity of Indian works. Indeed, there is no large content available in terms of major Indian art works as more and more collectors are tearing themselves away, a situation that causes the prices of paintings in circulation to swell.