As reported in the ET, Ms Deepanjana Klein, a graduate of Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan, and now a specialist head of sale and assistant vice-president of South Asian Modern & Contemporary art of Christie in New York, is in Kolkata along with Dr Hugo K. Weihe, another top functionary from the famed auction house.
They are on a major exploratory research of Bengal School art and the state’s arts heritage. This is what Dr Weihe said to the ET:
Calcutta is where it all started. This is a city which has some of the oldest galleries and also the Bengal School which played a critical role in what we know as Modern Indian art and Modernism. We are featuring Bengal School art in quite a big way in our forthcoming sale in New York in September. So, it’s important for us to explore this sphere. Calcutta, so long, has been neglected in the bigger picture.
This development is welcome for the sake of Bengal art, but then the question is how long the ‘interest’ will sustain.
From what understands with a little interest in the subject, Bengal art is relatively cheaper and maybe – as Christie feels – unexplored to a large extent.
This inevitably means there is money to be had in course of time as the world economy gradually stages a comeback from the severe slump over the past year and a half.
Commercial ventures however rarely leave blank trails. They are followed by more commercial ventures, and then more, which in the end is a good tiding for the city and its community that are starved of meaningful activities for a long, long time.