Earlier this week, a little bit of auction history was made when the first ever evening sale of Indian art was held in New York. (An evening sale is infinitely more posh than a regular auction. It’s as much an event as it is a sale.) Sotheby’s presented 43 works from collector Amrita Jhaveri’s Amaya collection of modern and contemporary Indian art and raised a little less than $7 million dollars. Some of the proceeds from the sale are going to Khoj, to fund a project space and lecture room, and this is truly heartwarming because Khoj has been critically important for Indian contemporary art. Much of the cool, funky and experimental stuff that charm us today wouldn’t have been possible without Khoj encouraging the artists and practices that it does. So it’s really good to hear of earnings from Indian art being channelled back into Indian art.
Amrita had very kindly asked me to write for the catalogue that was put together for The Amaya Collection evening sale and it’s a beautiful publication. The catalogue has essays by Yashodhara Dalmia, Malcolm Cossons, Girish Shahane and yours truly. I do think my piece has an unfair advantage though: a lovely black and white photo by Dayanita Singh of Amrita with her father.