Big foreign intrest in Indian art world

New Delhi: With a recovery in the global art market during 2010 following a slump in the previous year, gallerists and art dealers worldwide are exploring younger markets like India scouting for new buyers for art.

The third edition of the India Art Summit in Delhi that features works by over 500 artists has attracted 84 galleries from all over the world, many of them drawn to the country where buyers are also seeking out works by international artists.

"The Indian market has been growing year on year. Delhi has now a internationl community and is quite sophisticated.

There are young Indians who are travelling more and want to hang up on their walls works from all kinds of places," says an international gallerist participating at the Summit.

Indian art market which is pegged at approximately Rs 2,000 crore has been indicated to witness a surge in momentum in the first quarter of 2011 according to art market research firms.

International artists have also experimented with Indian themes to appeal to Indian buyers.

"We took the risk of not bringing typical Indian art works. We hope it appeals to young professional Indians," says a representative of UK-based Stark+Grant Gallery which is exhibiting several works potraying Mahatma Gandhi at the Art Summit. Enzo Guaricci`s works on marble that resemble faded copies of the Hindustan Times and Il courier newspapers bearing news about Gandhi`s assasination are a case in point.

Art Gallery 21 from Lativia which is exhibiting for the second time in India and which brought works by four artists say they have had a good response. Lativian artists Mirro and Anita Arbidane spent about four months in Auroville in Puducherry in Tamil Nadu in 2009 and assimilated their experiences in the works exhinited at the Art Summit.

"Anita`s work `Waking up in India` blends Indian influences with Lativian skills. The painting along with her other work `The Game`, a humorous take on well-known French painter Georges De La Tour`s work `The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds` were sold to Indian collectors for USD 12,000 and USD 10,000 each" .

The success of the second India Art Summit in 2009, held in the midst of a slump in the middle of a big western markets which saw business worth Rs 26 crore being raked in with over 40 per cent of first time buyers seems to have also prompted international art dealers to look at the Indian market.

Paul Greenaway of Greenaway Gallery in Australia who is exhibiting two artists Jenny Watson and Hossein Valamanesh, a Persian artist settled in Australia says, "In the next five years maybe sooner the future is from here to China. We think it is very imporatant to reestablish the traditional connections between the countries.

"We are also collaborating with Mascara gallery from Mumbai for an exchange of artists who will be shown in India and Australia during the next 12 months," says Greenaway