Saturday, March 21, 2009

Osian's Auction

Just got back from the Osian's auction of art and craft. Neville Tuli, head of the auction house, started off the evening with one of his proselytising speeches about the need to build arts infrastructure, highlighting his own brave, pioneering efforts in that direction. Then the bidding started... except it didn't. Not a single work reached its high estimate, and it was easy to see why. Much of the art on offer was the Bengal rubbish that Osian's has taken to pushing these past few years: Bireshwar Sen, Sunil Madhav Sen, Gopal Ghose, Prokash Karmakar, Sajal Roy: utterly dreadful stuff. Or minor works by good artists like Benode Behari Mukherjee, Chittaprosad, Somnath Hore and Paritosh Sen. When the odd strong work by a major artist came up, the over-optimistic estimates proved a deterrent. The lots that did sell went mostly to proxy bids, only one or two were grabbed by people in the auction room.
Rajit Kapur did a valiant job as auctioneer, and finally began getting a response once bidding began on craft works from Paramparik Karigar's collection. A few of the sculptures, sarees and paintings sold for five to ten times their estimated price.
Then it was back to modern and contemporary art, and the same depressing combination of proxy bids around the low estimate, or else a complete absence of interest leading to the work being brought in.

3 comments:

DS said...

Didnt want to comment.....loved the no bid no comment status, but couldnt resist this!!

The silence is going to get even more deafening......

Anonymous said...

Girish Shahane knows nothing about art & creativity. He is brash & has very limited understanding of this form of creativity& that evident from his write up in the blog. Bireswar sen in particular is a great artist whose paintings has been a source of great joy for all nature lovers since last 7 decades. His paintings are soaked with deep rooted philosophy that is probably beyond his comprehension comprehension

Girish Shahane said...

Well, at least I put my name to my opinions.