Christie's sales of Indian and Southeast Asian art feature paintings, sculpture and textiles from an expansive geographical range that extends from ancient Gandhara, through the Himalayas, India, Sri Lanka and into Thailand and Indonesia. Many of these works of art emerge from Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain contexts, as well as traditions and cultures dating from the Indus Valley period (circa 3,300 B.C.) to the mid-1900s. Christie's holds two specialized sales of classical Indian and Southeast Asian Art a year in New York and have offered exceptional single-owner sales on a selective basis.
The department of Indian and Southeast Asian art at Christie's is recognized internationally for its academic expertise. We maintain the highest standards of research, publishing catalogues that are noteworthy for their scholarship. The result is that we are the regional and global leaders in the field of Indian and Southeast Asian art, maintaining 77% of the market share in New York alone. In tandem with the rise in the South Asian economy, the market for art of Indian and Southeast Asian origin continues to grow ever stronger.
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Indian and Southeast Asian Art
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|Sep 15||1pm - 5pm|
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Menaka Kumari Shah joined Christie’s in 2006 in London, King Street as coordinator for the highly important Arts of India biennial sales. In 2006 Menaka joined Christie’s Business Development group as Client Advisor to Indian and Non-Resident Indian clients, and was part of the core team leading the inaugural Dubai Sale in May 2006. She was simultaneously appointed Junior Specialist in Modern & Contemporary Indian Art and a Specialist in early 2008. Ms. Shah relocated back to India in 2008 to head Christie’s India operations and reinforce Christie’s commitments there in her role as Country Head, India and brings considerable experience, knowledge, and client understanding to her role. She is actively responsible for developing Christie’s brand and businesses in India, working with collectors for the acquisition and deaccession of major collections, insurance appraisals, business getting for consignments; and as a general valuer provides advice on all aspects of the auction process. Ms. Shah works with all categories of including Watches, Wine, Pictures, Jewels, South Asian Modern + Contemporary, Indian and Islamic Art. Ms. Shah has been instrumental in broadening Christie’s initiatives in the Indian subcontinent and advises Christie’s International on India. Ms. Shah was educated between India and England and is an alumnus of the Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai; the Maharani Gayatri Devi School, Jaipur; Cambridge Arts & Sciences, Cambridge and the University of Bristol, U.K with a BSc. Honors. Prior to Christie’s she worked with Concern India Foundation in Mumbai, curating and managing their fundraising art auctions and exhibitions, and in 2005 she apprenticed under Robert Knox and Dr. Richard Blurton in the Indian department of the British Museum.
Sonal Singh joined Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Indian department in 2007, bringing over ten years of work experience in the art industry. Based in Mumbai, she travels frequently, having formed close relationships with members of the art community in India and Pakistan. She often contributes articles on Indian art to national magazines and newspapers and is frequently invited to speak. She also works closely with the Asian Contemporary Art department in Hong Kong to create a wider awareness of South Asian art in the region. Prior to Christie’s, Ms. Singh was a Director of Bodhi Art. She worked closely with many of India’s leading artists including: Atul Dodiya, Anju Dodiya, Subodh Gupta and N.S. Harsha amongst others. Her recent essays include: “Chindia” as Market Opportunity (co authored with Iain Robertson and Victoria Tseng) in The Art Business (Routledge, 2008) and ‘India’ in The International Art Markets (Kogan Page, 2008). She holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, where she specialised in the Indian art market. Ms. Singh has also studied design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London; and Modern and Contemporary Art history at Christie’s Education, London.
Dr. Hugo Weihe joined Christie’s in 1998 and established the Department of Indian and Southeast Asian Art in New York. His inaugural sale included works from the Muneichi Nitta Collection, among them a world record for the sale of a Lotus Bud-form censer ($717,500) now on loan to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1999, Dr. Weihe became responsible for leading the cross-departmental business getting team as Head of Asian Art in the Americas. His role was expanded in 2005 to International Director of Asian Art, leading strategy and initiatives across collecting categories with support from a worldwide team. Under Dr. Weihe’s leadership, the department has achieved numerous auction records in the field including a Sarnath sandstone figure of Buddha ($4.96 million); a 13th century Tibetan thangka ($1.5 million); a painting by Nainsukh of Guler ($2.2 million); and a Baphuon sandstone figure of Uma ($2.1 million). Works from notable private collections include: James and Marilyn Alsdorf; the Pan-Asian Collection; Robert Hatsfield Ellsworth; Thomas Solley; Dr. William Price; the Starr Collection; Julian Sherrier; Ariane Dandois; Dr. Pratapaditya Pal; Jack and Muriel Zimmerman, amongst many others. In the fast growing field of Modern and Contemporary Indian art, Dr. Weihe has established overall market leadership in the category at Christie’s, working with an international team based in New York, London and Mumbai. He auctioned the first work by a living Indian artist to sell for over $1 million with Tyeb Mehta’s Mahisasura ($1,548,000) in 2005. In time, Weihe has witnessed history in the making, with record prices achieved for Syed Haider Raza, Maqbool Fida Husain and Francis Newton Souza. Dr. Weihe was instrumental in securing the single-artist sale of work from the Estate of Francis Newton Souza in 2010. As one of Christie’s international auctioneers, Dr. Weihe commands auctions in New York, London and Hong Kong and supports numerous charities as an auctioneer including the Tibet House Foundation, and Pratham USA. Dr. Weihe received his Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Zürich where he also lectured on various subjects related to Asian art. His book, Die Ware Kunst (Art as Commodity), was published in 1989. In the early 1990s, he was the publisher of Artibus Asiae, one of the preeminent scholarly journals in the field of Asian art, based at the Museum Rietberg Zürich, in collaboration with the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Sandhya Jain Patel joined the Indian and Southeast Asian Department in 2005. Prior to joining Christie’s, Mrs. Jain Patel spent a year in India on a Fulbright Scholarship, studying the materials and techniques of handmade paper and miniature paintings, and their conservation in both the public and private sectors. She has worked previously as a fine arts conservator and research scientist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and also at the Judith Eisenberg Textile Conservation Studios. Her publications include "Research and Treatment of a 15th century Nepalese Thangka," and "Innovations in the Materials and Techniques of Contemporary Indian Miniature Painting." Mrs. Jain Patel holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Art History from Rutgers University, a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey, and two Master’s degrees in Art History and in Fine Arts Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She speaks Hindi fluently and is proficient in Italian.
Tristan Bruck joined the Indian & Southeast Asian department in 2011, having previously interned in the department in 2009. Prior to joining Christies, he worked with at The Pace Gallery in New York. Mr. Bruck holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Wesleyan University and furthered his studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He holds a Master’s degree in Modern Art, Connoisseurship, and History of the Art Market from Christie’s Education in New York.
Ludovic Marock joined Christie’s in Zurich in 2010, quickly becoming an Associate Specialist in Antiquities in early 2012. Mr. Marock has over a decade of experience in the art and culture sectors, and holds an interest in the preservation of cultural assets. He has previously worked hands-on at archaeological excavations in Greece and Sicily, has interned at the UNESCO World Heritage Center and worked as a specialist in antique art objects at the Gallery Rhéa in Switzerland. Mr. Marock is also an experienced manager and project manager, having overseen travelling exhibitions for the Vindonissa Museum in Switzerland, as well as coordinating staff and projects as Division Manager for the SemioticTransfer GmbH. His publications include “Die Antikensammlung des Fürsten von Liechtenstein, Schloss Vaduz” (The collection of antiques of the prince of Liechtenstein). Mr. Marock holds a Master of Arts / Licentiatus philosophiae (Lic. phil. I) in Classical Archaeology, French Literature and Ancient History from the Universities of Zurich and Paris. In 2009 he completed the first part of a postgraduate MAS in culture management at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.