Indian art market has consolidated: Tuli

New Delhi: The Indian art market has witnessed a period of consolidation in 2010 and the coming months will see further strengthening, predicts Neville Tuli, founder-chairman of OSIAN`s Connoisseurs of Art that has just published a detailed report on the subject.

"In the coming months, buyers will witness a resurgence in demand for the best of art works by the leading masters in India," Tuli said in an e-mail interview from Mumbai.

"However, the volumes and liquidity regarding the rest of the market is still relatively low."

OSIAN`s Art Market India Report (AMIR) is a quarterly dossier. A study of the breakup of the auction market between Jan 1 and March 31, 2010 as cited by the report shows that the market share of Christie`s has increased to 38.7 percent from the corresponding share of 27.2 percent from Jan 1 to March 27, 2009.

Sotheby`s increased its market share from 22.9 percent in 2009 to 23.7 percent in 2010. Saffronart increased its share to 19.8 percent in 2010 from 17.5 percent in 2009.

The total auction sales in 2010 were to the tune of Rs.105.11 crore compared to Rs.45.07 crore in 2009.

"Many fundamental changes are expected within the infrastructure of the Indian art market in the coming months as the responsibility grows about becoming a major player and market at the global level. China has become the world`s third largest market. India is not yet among the top 20 at present," Tuli said.

The Indian art market is currently valued at approximately more than Rs 2,000 crore.

The publication of the report, says Tuli, is "an attempt to bridge the gap between two worlds - business and aesthetics - that pose a major civilisation building problem today, not exclusive to India."

Saraswati and Lakshmi - the Indian goddesses of learning and wealth, respectively - do not sit on the same sofa and discuss with love, Tuli said.

"The journal has been in the pipeline for over two years, but passing through the first major crisis in the Indian art market has been a major trigger," the art connoisseur said.

Tuli said the "crisis made one realise the infancy of the art market and its lack of regular access to authentic information and how easily half-baked information and hearsay passes off as knowledge and facts".

"No long term development of India`s art and culture is possible without clear transparent facts on the market transactions, understanding institutions in an objective manner through rating programmes and providing clear access to the public of all important players within an integrated infrastructure-building vision.

"We plan to focus on new areas of art and cultural journalism which today are not given serious attention by the media," he said.

The slim journal casts a quick but comprehensive look at the art market. It begins with a financial analysis and insight into the art market, followed by the artists in focus - FN Souza, Akbar Padamsee and Raja Ravi Varma - in the issue.

A section of the magazine lists gallery ratings and analyses the trends, spotlights on infrastructure, art banking perspective, conservation and provides writing space to connoisseurs.