To understand the Contemporary Art market, one must study and understand Subodh Gupta. Yes
In fact who knows, if the same Padamsee grey landscape were to come in 2008, it possibly may NOT have broken this record for Subodh?
To be precise, the record for Gaitonde in 2008 was $435,000 for the work shown below (50 x 36 inches) while a Subodh sold for $1.4 Million!
As these are similar in creation and quality and subject and therefore easy to track. The similarity of these works makes
The black lines show the sales - the missing black lines are indicators of
The total sales of just these canvases
The Art of Subodh Gupta
So What Happened To Subodh Gupta's (and the Contemporary) Art
I can only contemplate on the reasons and some of them may be
a) In Late 2008, a couple of canvases went unsold, possibly due to the sheer number of such works appearing in the market and the market has not recovered since then possibly due to the realization that the number of such (canvas) works are huge and that they can still be created at will.
b) The primary work by Subodh Gupta is not the photo-realism canvases, but his sculptures and installations. The canvases were meant to be substitutes and they are probably not his main body of work!
c) I would estimate that the
d) It is this fall in prices that has not only incorrectly ruined the prospects of other contemporary artists ('once bitten twice shy' and the clubbing together of all contemporary artists) but also improved the valuations of other earlier artists such as the progressives (and their finite set of works)
e) The quick run up must have attracted the "investors" - the "last man stuck" with the works must be waiting to exit at the first reasonable opportunity.
f) The Lehman crisis and reduction of liquidity in the system did not help. This would have certainly forced the international players in the art market to withdraw and sell their holdings.
In conclusion, there will always be a contemporary art market and it has to revive. Collectors like newer styles of art and the classic Tagore or a Souza may not appeal to all. New forms of art will continue to be created and experimentation will continue. I suspect that it is only a matter
In the West, Jeff Koons set a new record in 2013 for a contemporary artist for over $50 Million, which is comparable to the best of Western Modern Art.
It has now been eight years since the sheer drop in Contemporary art
But one must understand the artist's oeuvre to be a collector. I would love to buy a Subodh Gupta sculpture or an installation.
Of course, choices are all very personal to a collector.
P.S. It has been pointed out that some of the other markets such as the real estate market