Indian art fair captures economic waves

Last week's 15th edition of the India Art Fair (February 1-4) was buzzing in New Delhi amid a rally in the country's stock market and property market. Gaurav Karan, managing partner of Crayon Art Gallery, New Delhi and Mumbai, says people are paying more for apartments and art now. He brought a booth of paintings ($100,000-$1mn) by the Indian modernist MF Hussain, whose paintings have been rising at auction recently.

Most of the works in the exhibition were priced below these levels, reflecting India's growing clientele for art. Mumbai's Dark Gallery brought 10 South Asian and diaspora contemporary artists priced between £1,000 and £20,000. Hena Kapadia, the gallery's founding director, described this year's visitors and buyers as „more fun, younger, new houses and walls to fill, more architects and interior designers.” Her sale includes delicate collages originally produced for the 2020 Dhaka Art Summit by Geneva-based Abnavi Maganji.

The exhibition's mix of galleries has changed over the years, and is now deliberately dominated by people from India and South Asia, says director Jaya Asokan. He is determined to preserve the 80/20 split between these and international exhibitors.


'Morning on the Seine, Clear Weather' (1897) by Claude Monet (£12mn-£18mn)

Claude Monet's „Matinée sur la Seine, temps net” (1897), which last sold for $330,000 in 1978, will fetch £12mn to £18mn at Christie's next month. The roughly square painting (32 x 36 inches), in blue, purple, and green, was created when Monet began to sort out his motifs and is one of 21 such watercolor works. It has not been seen in public since 1990 at the fair Monet in the 90s: Series of PaintingsIt traveled from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

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Michael McMullen, Christie's co-head of 20th and 21st century evening sales, notes the artist's contemporaneous statements, saying, „It looks like it was painted in the early morning—there's not enough light to penetrate the trees.” Got up at 3.30 am to work Workshop boat (Studio Boat). The work is being offered in London on March 7, its provenance is suggested to be from an American collection (although Christie's has not confirmed), and is covered by a third-party guarantee.


A black and white photograph of a man's shaved head in black and white
'Ken Moody and Robert Sherman' (1984) Robert Mapplethorpe © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Black and white photo of woman in fur coat and veiled hat
'Ira' (1979) by Robert Mapplethorpe. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Edward Enninful, Vogue's new global creative and culture advisor and formerly editor-in-chief of British Vogue, has taken charge for the first time at Thaddeus Roebach in Paris (March 2-April 6) with a solo show by the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. ) Enninful will select 46 works from an archive of around 4,000 and present them in pairs, like a double-page spread of a silk magazine. He describes the result as offering „[some works] The others that flow together fight against each other.”

A 1984 photograph of the contrasting black-and-white shaved heads of Mapplethorpe's friends Ken Moody and Robert Sherman is paired with a woman, „Ira” (1979), wearing a veiled hat and fur coat. Dios also include popular sitters. Daisies (1978) is one of the most arresting next to Dalmatian (1976). „I wanted a beautiful delicate flower sitting next to something more masculine and grand,” says Enninful.

Mapplethorpe, who first discovered Enninful on the fashion scene at the age of 16, is known for her expressively sensual portraits. The audition for Ropac was more about „light, lighting, the use of shadows, the subjects,” he says. The exhibition is in association with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and individual photographs are priced at $18,000-$110,000.

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A heavily tattooed tattoo artist at work
Tattoo artist Delphine Musket

Street artists and tattoo artists are increasingly in demand with brands that use art to differentiate themselves in guerrilla ways, says Josh Moore, director of London's specialist street-art firm Lawless Studios, which was recently bought by the Freuds group. “Walk down any street in Shoreditch [east London] You'll see commercial murals or fly posters, and often without a brand logo,” he says. His clients range from England's National Health Service to Adidas.

Tattoo artists are especially into the practice, Moore says, although tie-ups don't require people to get inked. He cites the influence of Hublot's high-profile partnership with Maxime Plescia-Büchi to design the watches. But actual tattoos aren't unheard of: illegal creations with UK-based Delphin Musquet at an event for wine brand 19 Crimes, in which four artists tattooed more than 100 guests over a weekend.

Arlo Brady, chief executive of Freuds Group, says the growing trend is towards „artists who want fair pay and reach a wider audience, and brands who want to cut through the noise”.


Sign building on the corner of an Italian city street
Via della Spiga, one of Milan's main shopping streets and now a pop-up art gallery

Lehmann Maupin will have a pop-up space in Milan from April 12 to June 21, coinciding with the Miart exhibition (April 12-14) and the Venice Biennale, with previews and rail travel from the following week. . Milan Space will be in a building owned by architect-collector Nicole Tsykalis Bey, a non-profit organization on the Via della Spica shopping street, Circolo. Lehmann Maupin opens with a group show of new works in three connecting spaces, in which Mandy El-Sayegh, Catherine Opie and Nari Ward get a room to themselves. Ward also has a show at Milan's Pirelli Hungerpicocca Foundation (until July 28), while gallery artist Kim Yun Shin is one of the main participants of the biennale. Foreigners everywhere Exhibition.

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Pop-ups have worked well for the gallery to date, says co-founder Rachel Layman, who has tested the model in Aspen, Palm Beach, Taipei and Beijing, and is coming to London's Cork Street this fall. „Our artists like to experiment in different places. Even if shipping costs don't come down, local collectors can buy work from their hometown.

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