The year 2008 is an exciting year for modern and contemporary Indian art. In July 2008 the increase of the price index for contemporary Indian art over the previous 10 years stood at +3230%. In August, Delhi hosted the Indian Art Summit, the first Indian contemporary art fair, and inaugurated the Devi Art Foundation, the first large private Foundation for Indian art. Created by Anuman Poddar, the Foundation houses over 2,000 contemporary artworks and 5,000 pieces of tribal and popular Indian art.
Along with China, India has proven itself to be one of the major players in the art market today. Over the last two years, most important international art dealers and collectors have embraced the stars of contemporary Indian art. In a period characterized by market volatility, investors now present Indian art as an investment with strong growth potential.

Mithu Sen, born in 1971, Untitled (lot 890)
mixed media on paper, 101,5 x 137 cm (40 x 54 in.), 35 000 / 40 000 €

The Indian Art Summit, India's first international contemporary art fair, attracted crowds and garnered considerable media attention, illustrating the current art market trend towards embracing promising new artists. Record prices for contemporary top artists, from Subodh Gupta to TV Santosh, have accentuated this new development, opening the market to much more affordable artists. Contemporary Indian art has now entered the new, exciting phase of seeking out and discovering the star artists of tomorrow.

Mithu Sen illustrates this trend. Current values for works by Mithu Sen, an artist who has participated in many international exhibits, increased by a factor of 5 in 2008. Alexis Kersey and Dileep Sharma will hold their first solo show at Nature Morte. Tanmoy Samanta and Birendra Pani (recently seen at Gallery Espace), Alex Mathew (solo show, Bombay Art Gallery, July 2008), Bhrigu Sharma, Alok Bal and Murali Cheeroth (exhibited in many galleries across India), Pranati Panda (seen at the Indian Art Summit), are some of the artists becoming a focus among enlightened connoisseurs and professionals.

Hema Upadhayay, born in 1972, I see what you see, 2003, (lot 888)
mixed media on paper, 56 x 152,5 cm (21,84 x 59,49 in.), 29 000 / 32 000 €

Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002), Untitled, 1956, (lot 845)
mixed media on paper, 53,3 x 68,6 cm (21 x 27 in.), 60 000 / 80 000 €

The sale will feature a selection of affordable works by recognized artists such as Anjolie Ela Menon, Arpana Caur (with a rare painting where, like Frida Kahlo, the artist refers to her recent open-heart surgery with strength and subtlety), Arpita Singh, Viswanadhan, Shanthamani, Sohan Qadri, Thota Vaikuntam, Atul Dodiya (lithograph by one of the top contemporary artists), Shibu Natesan, Bose Krishnamachari, Jitish Kallat and Jagannath Panda (works on paper by these prominent artists), Hema Upadhyay (a painting representing one of her first emblematic themes), and Justin Ponmany with one of his typical paintings and holograms on canvas. A painting by Subodh Gupta, atypical in the light of his recent work and, by its quality, representative of his first works that were inspired by daily life, rounds off the group.

The Indian modern art portion of the sale is highlighted by a gorgeous nude by F.N. Souza, two significant paintings by S.H. Raza, a remarkable painting of 1946 by the Sri Lankan artist George Keyt and an important canvas by Jehangir Sabavala (who had a solo show at the Sakshi Gallery Bombay last September)...

Indian photography, a booming medium, will also be offered with attractive works by Ravi Agarwal and Vivek Vilasini, T.S. Satyan (a legend of photo-journalism), Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, and also Surekha, an artist also much appreciated for her installations and videos, her works are part of many international exhibitions.

Finally, tribal art will also be included with two particularly powerful works by the legendary artist from the Warli tribe, Jivya Soma Mashe, whose works will be seen in two major exhibitions on Indian tribal art, one at the Devi Art Foundation scheduled for end 2009, and the other, early 2010 in Paris at the Musée du Quai Branly.

Shibu Natesan, born in 1966, Untitled, 2001, (lot 876),
watercolor on paper, 45 x 60 cm ( 17,7 x 23,6 in.), 8 500 / 9 500 €

Justin Ponmany, born in 1974, Untitled, 2006, (lot 893),
hologram and acrylic on canvas, 70,5 x 17 in. (179 x 43,2 cm), 22 000 / 30 000 €

"I will not return to painting, but I'm interested in painting to come." Justin Ponmany, born in 1974 in the state of Kerala, practices a maelstrom, a movement of intense pictorial reflection, which leads us irresistibly to the edge of currents, those archaisms and modernism. In physics, reflection is the sudden change of direction of a wave at the interface between two media (optical reflection, reflection acoustic). In philosophy and psychology, reflection is the action of the thinking back on itself. By its pictorial wefts, its iconographic weaves, and the recurring use of plastic effect close to the hologram, the work of Justin Ponmany that he calls himself "Plastic Memory", make the shuttle between medium and message.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, An Indian from India, Red Indian, Brown Indian, (lot 879),
photo print on paper, number 5/12, 30,48 x 48,26 (11,89 x 18,82 in.), 500 / 700 €

Georges Keyt (1901-1993), Untitled, 1946, (lot 842A),
oil on canvas, 73,5 x 68 cm (28,95 x 26,77 in.), 20 000 / 25 000 €

George Keyt is considered Sri Lanka’s most distinguished and renowned modern painter and poet. His linear compositions and cubist style have adorned the pages of many books, catalogs, walls of museums and other public and private spaces. George Keyt has explored Sri Lankan and Hindu mythology and art, Buddhism as well as cubism to develop his style where truly classical and truly romantic elements are combined.

Public Exhibition
25 to 27 October, 10am-9pm
28 October, 10am-3pm
Auction 28 October, 2:30pm.
Hôtel Marcel Dassault
7 rond-point des Champs-Élysées
75008 Paris

View catalogue online
Contemporary Art 2, 28 october, lots 840 to 899A

Bid Department
Marianne Balse
Phone: +33 (0)1 42 99 20 51
Absentee bids should be received at least 24 hours before the sale begins.
Ask for absentee bid Form :

Artcurial Indian Art Consultant
Hervé Perdriolle :
mobile : +33 (0)6 87 35 39 17

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