The Last Impressions

Bhavna Kakkar of Latitude 28 gallery, who sold her entire solo booth of Dilip Chobisa at the IAF 2012, did well this year too. "We had around 10 works of various contemporary artists at our booth and sold almost 70 per cent. Some negotiations are still on," says Kakkar. Salsali Private Museum in Dubai bought three works from her, while two of Kathik Sood's mixed media works went for Rs 2.25 lakh each and Chobisa's untitled mixed media graphite on paper sold for Rs 3.60 lakh.

Experimentation proved fruitful. So miniatures of veterans such as A Ramachandran, Jogen Chowdhury, Laxma Goud and Satish Gujral found buyers at the Gallerie Ganesha booth. Malini Gulrajani, director of Dubai-based 1x1 Gallery, managed to sell works of Middle Eastern artists. Samira Alikhanzadeh's diptych Family Album and Cristiana de Marchi's Shine, embroidery on golden beaded fabric, sold for Rs 2 lakh each.

Word of advice comes from Tunty Chauhan, director, Gallery Threshold, who had a solo booth of V Ramesh at the fair. "The fair should be more representative of work from different parts of the world," says Chauhan. She says that the quality and numbers of collectors at the fair this year was impressive. "There were a lot of international collectors as well as collectors from Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai," she says. She sold works worth almost Rs 20 lakh at the fair.

The positive sales figures, do not necessarily indicate a healthier market, notes Renu Modi, director, Gallery Espace. "It could just be sparks, we have to wait and see," she says. She refuses to divulge details, but says, the sales this year at the fair "was better".

"Apart from Indian collectors, we sold works to an American and Australian museum," she says. Maren Kirchhoff of DIE Galerie from Frankfurt adds, "The customs duty and taxes are horrible. The laws and regulations have got to change. For private pieces, the tax rate often goes up to 45 per cent and there are problems with payments, the interest and shipping."

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