Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First dedicated auction of Pakistani art in India goes online on November 7

Archana Khare Ghose, TNN Oct 29, 2012, 06.55PM IST
NEW DELHI: The country's premier art auction house, is going to host the first ever auction of Pakistani art in India on November 7 and 8. The 24-hour online auction that will begin at 9.30pm on November 7 will feature 70 works of art by masters past and present from across the border.
Nish Bhutani, COO of Saffronart says, "This is the first time that we are hosting a dedicated auction of Pakistani art though we've had representations of art from Pakistan in our other auctions on and off. India and Pakistan have so much of shared history, geography and culture that this auction is a natural progression of the collaboration we already have at various levels." 

Faiza Butt Justice League: Justice League, a 2005 ink on polyester film work by Faiza Butt (Photo:
The special feature of the auction, titled Modern and Contemporary Art of Pakistan, is that the art works are affordable compared to the prices commanded by Indian art at top auctions the world over. The highest priced work, for instance, is Jamil Naqsh's 2007 untitled acrylic on canvas which is expected to go for anything between Rs 12 lakh to Rs 16 lakh. The 74-year-old London-based artist is one of the foremost modern masters of Pakistan. His position in the Pakistani art space is often compared to that of MF Husain in India.    ...... read more

Friday, October 26, 2012

Christies specialists scout talent in Karachi

October 22, 2012; Express Tribune

KARACHI: “So, so impressed,” is the verdict on Karachi’s art scene from Deepanjana D. Klein at Christie’s, the art business known for conducting some of the world’s most well-known auctions of art, jewellery and antiques.
Klein, the head of sales for Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Indian Art department, visited Karachi with Hugo Weihe, the international director of Asian Art, this weekend as part of a research trip and they flew to Lahore on Sunday for another couple of days. During their trip, Klein met artists such as Naiza Khan and Adeela Suleman – two of the city’s most well-established names – and with a number of art collectors, including Hameed Haroon.

Klein told The Express Tribune that while Christie’s had been working with artists from Pakistan for several years, you can’t understand the context “unless you see the work on the ground, see the crime and grit.”

“The younger generation work is sensitive and excels in terms of skill and context,” Klein said.

She also noted that what she liked was how older artists supported the younger artists. “When you go to Naiza’s studio you see a lot of work of younger artists as well as her own.”

“I have to say it has been very inspiring… very, very positive,” Klein enthused.

In Lahore, Klein said that the Christie’s representatives would be meeting prominent artist Rashid Rana, “a friend for years”, as well as Salima Hashmi, who she met with in New York as well. They will also be visiting the National College of Arts to get a “sense of the context, this is where artists are coming from”, as well as lot of younger artists. Klein mentioned artists Mubashir Munir and Ayesha Kamal as people she was hoping to meet.

Klein said that there was a definite market for Pakistani artists abroad. “What we’re trying to do is bring in younger American collectors,” she said. They would be the ones who can afford to buy work from Pakistan because of the price tags, as well as bring collectors to salvation sales. “It is work they can relate to, it is very affordable, and they see promise and potential.”

However, Klein said that, “The sense we are getting is that there is not enough local patronage. Artists are buying each other’s work, and there are collectors such as Hameed Haroon.” This sentiment is echoed by ArtNow editor Nafisa Rizvi, who told The Express Tribune recently that while there was a “heightened” interest in Pakistani art, that wasn’t reflected at home.

Artist Naiza Khan said that the Christie’s representatives had visited her studio. “We had a discussion about what I’m doing, and they are looking at what is happening here.” Khan noted that Christie’s representatives visited Pakistan several times before. “Over the years, they’ve worked with contemporary artists, but I think this is a research trip, and not a sales trip.”