Get to know the person leading Christie’s India Sale in Mumbai

DEC 1, 2016 | By Aditi Sharma Maheshwari
The holiday season encourages you to redecorate and redo your homes. The Christie’s fourth consecutive sale in India, led by Bengaluru based collectors Abhishek and Radhika Poddar, has come just at the right time. Slated for December 18, 2016, at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai you will be able to admire and purchase 41 masterpieces, including works by Tyeb Mehta, VS Gaitonde, Ganesh Pyne and Meera Mukherjee among others.
Abhishek speaks to us at length about his love for art and his rich collection. An excerpt:
ELLE DECOR: Tell us about some of the most prominent artworks in your collection.
Abhishek Poddar: This series retraces my life in works of art. With most artists I engaged on a long friendship journey and the selection of these 41 works was made over a long process. The most prominent works would be the Gaitonde, painted in 1973, which I acquired at Gallery Chemould. It is an abstract work of art which tells many stories! The Tyeb Metha was also bought via Kekoo Ghandy’s Gallery Chemould. In 1975 Tyeb abandoned his expressionist style and introduced lines into his works, which dictated the composition and balance of his paintings. In these, the ‘diagonal’ allows a single figure to adopt different forms on each side, giving Mehta the flexibility to explore different means of representation in a single painting – still a fascinating approach.
ED: Tell us about your association with Christies.
AP: I have known the Christie’s India team since many years and have been following their endeavour into holding stand-alone auctions for Indian modern and contemporary art since the mid 1990s in London and New York. I laude their work for encouraging international appreciation for art in our country!
ED: How has art been an integral part of your life?
AP: I inherited the collecting “bug” from my father, who gathered cross-categorial from Raj-period landscapes to classical stone sculptures, silver, porcelain, textile to modern Indian art. He also gave me a modest annual budget to start my own collection. Apart from buying art, one of my main aims was always to meet the artists and engage in long friendships. When I was at Doon School, I published their first art magazine and made it a point to meet each artist who submitted works of art or text material for the magazine.
One of the most important relationships I forged was most probably with Manjit Bawa, who played a pivotal role in our journey in the art world. Manjit introduced me to the works of artists including Tyeb Mehta, Jagdish Swaminathan, Arpita Singh, Paramjit Singh, Krishen Khanna, Himmat Shah, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Ravinder Reddy, Atul Dodiya, and Pritpal Ladi among others and encouraged me to start collecting their works. Other artists whom I met and befriended and played an influential role in the evolution of my collection were Ram Kumar, VS Gaitonde, Maqbool Fida Husain, Meera Mukherjee, Arpita and Paramjit Singh, Bhupen Khakhar, Vivan Sundaram and Jogen Chowdhury.
ED: What are you most looking forward to the most at the Christie’s sale?
AP: That the new owners of these 41 works will enjoy and treasure them as much as we did and that these masterpieces will be on public view to be seen by all art enthusiasts in new Delhi and Mumbai.
Where: The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai 01.
When: December 18, 2016
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