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Does The Indian Art Market Need An E-commerce Push?

Does The Indian Art Market Need An E-commerce Push?

India Art Fair 2016 attracted many art enthusiasts from across the country (and abroad). Artists from France to Sri Lanka showcased their work, participated in discussions and watched exhilarating films.

The moment you entered the fair you are awed by the plethora of brilliant artwork there is to see. You could see people analysing the paintings for a long time and eventually buying them.



If numbers are to be believed Indian art market might just be reviving from the drastic five year slump after 2008. In 2013, an Untitled work by V.S. Gaitonde (1924–2001) sold for a whopping Rs. 23.7 crore at Christie’s maiden India sale. Gaitonde grew up in Nagpur and studied at J.J. School of Art. In 1947, he was invited to join the Progressive Artist Group where the likes of M. F. Husain and S. H. Raza were prominent members.

Although Indian art scene doesn’t come close to that of US (39 percent), UK (22 percent) and China (22 percent). Together they dominate the €51 billion global market. According to the ArtTactic report, domestic auction houses like Pundole’s and SaffronArt saw their combined market share grow from 23 percent to 37 percent in 2014, putting Indian art firmly under the spotlight (at around Rs. 1,500 crore).

According to Ashish Anand, director, DAG Modern, the Indian Market could see a compounded growth of 30 percent year on year. “If that happens, modern and contemporary art could be a billion dollar market by 2020,” he says. “However we need more private museums, government support, outreach and education to fuel this growth,” adds Anand.


With more and more local artists looking to showcase and sell their work internationally, online platforms could not only help them but also bring the Indian art market go truly global.

DAG modern launched its first international venture in New York’s Madison Avenue last year and Indian alpha galleries appear at top international events such as Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Dubai and Frieze London. This just goes to show how international market is getting attracted towards Indian art.

“This is also because the Chinese contemporary market is coming off the boil and collectors are looking for new opportunities in Asia” says Anders Petterson, founder and managing director at ArtTactic.


“There is so much potential for Indian modern and contemporary art in the US, where collectors still don’t have sufficient idea about breadth and depth of the collections,“ says Jay Xu, director, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, one of the largest museums in the West devoted to the arts and cultures of Asia.


Bhuyan, A. (2016). Indian art: Its story in numbers. Art at The Fair.

About Anupam Varshney

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