A celebration despite the Covid-19
If you are an admirer of famous Indian artists Bhupen Khakhar, MF Husain, SH Raza and Manjit Bawa, March is the right time to be in New York during Asian Art Week 2022. This is a week centered on Asia from March 16-25 of museum exhibitions, gallery openings and art auctions with lectures, gatherings and receptions as well. The many events include a live auction at Christie’s of 40 works from the collection of renowned Indian-American art collectors Mahinder and Sharad Tak on March 23.
“Over the past fifty years, Mahinder and Sharad Tak have built up one of the most significant collections of modern and contemporary South Asian art in North America,” says Nishad Avari, Sales Manager, Modern and Contemporary Art South Asian at Christie’s. “Besides pioneer collectors, they are dedicated patrons of the arts and respected philanthropists.” Indeed, the Taks have been part of the artistic community in America and have often hosted many of these renowned artists from India and formed friendships with them over the years.
According to Avari, the auction will include major paintings by Bhupen Khakhar, Manjit Bawa, Arpita Singh and Sayed Haider Raza as well as Maqbool Fida Husain, Rameshwar Broota, Jogen Chowdhury and Jagdish Swaminathan. Highlights of the collection to be offered in March include Bhupen Khakhar’s banyan tree (1994) and Manjit Bawa Untitled (Devi) (1993), alongside major paintings by South Asian modernists, including Maqbool Fida Husain, who painted a portrait of Mahinder, Sayed Haider Raza, Francis Newton Souza, Jagdish Swaminathan, Jogen Chowdhury, Rameshwar Broota and Arpita Singh.
Christie’s auction is just one of many art events taking place during Asia Week, with more than 26 participating international art dealers, museums and auction houses and enthusiasts of art who plan to come from many parts of the world. The highly anticipated annual arts event has been around for 13 years but for the past two years it has been virtual, thanks to precautions taken due to the ongoing pandemic. Even this year’s press conference, which was supposed to be live, had to be changed to virtual, because of Omicron.
Yet right now, live events planned all over New York, at museums, galleries and auction houses, are all celebrating the many faces and aspects of Asian art. While Chinese, Japanese and Korean art has always been a big part of Asia Week, over the years Indian art has also become a prominent player with more and more art dealers art featuring South Asian and Himalayan antiquities. During the press conference, the dealers presented some of their offers.
This year, two galleries are also presenting contemporary Indian art. One of them is DAG with “Women Artists of 20th Century India”. One of the highlights featured is an acrylic on wood sculpture titled The surveyor and the surveyed by Navjot, “which examines the representation of the female body from the perspective of women who have been instructed, since childhood, to examine their bodies in response to constant scrutiny by others.” Akar Prakar is a gallery in New Delhi that displays online and one of the highlights is ‘Connecting’ by Jayashree Chakravarty.
Indian art dealers include Art Passages, Kapoor Galleries and Thomas Murray from the USA, Francesca Galloway (England) and Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch (England).
Lots of art will go under the hammer as there are six participating auction houses – Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel and Sotheby’s – there are 14 live auctions. Highlights at Bonhams include a gilt copper alloy figure of Tara from Nepal, early Malla period, 13th century, estimated at US$500,000-700,000. At Christie’s, banyan tree, a painting dated 1984, by Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2004). The estimate is: $1,800,000 to $2,500,000. At Sotheby’s. one of the highlights is Untitled (Sohni) by Manjit Bawa, with an estimate of $300,000-500,000. This is just a taste of the many works offered at auction during Asia Week.
According to Asia Week New York President Dessa Goddard, “Everyone is thrilled to connect with the collectors and curators who have made New York a major international destination for Asian artistic pursuits. Asia Week New York continues to be an integral part of the Asian art market for international collectors, curators and Asian art lovers.
Even if you’re not an art collector, Asia Week is a great space to learn more about Asian art and understand the intricacies of the art world, from museums to art galleries and art houses. auction. It is also a great opportunity to experience different art forms from other parts of Asia, be it Korea, China or Japan. Seen through the prism of art, the whole world can be your oyster during Asia Week New York.