Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Rise Of The Rest-- The Art World Turned Upside Down

If you watched any Olympic coverage, you got a nice visual display of the awesome transformation of Asia.This is not just a one city illusion, looked at by the numbers, Asia's rising trade surpluses, huge savings rates and currency surpluses demonstrate a vast potential spending power, most of which has yet to be unleashed. China for example has gone to great lengths to keep it's currency far lower than the market would, depressing it's citizens spending power.

The other thing that came across was the almost violent pride, that has developed in in China and it's similar in India-- which is starting to be seen in the exploding interest in Asian art.

I wonder about the place American Art, now plays in art history and the art market. In the post war world, we were the sun, everything seemed to revolve around us, especially the art market. The message in art history books was that all the paths of history lead to us, which was funny since a lot of the modernist movement, came from artists inspired by non western art.

Here's a story in The Washington Post about the same trend in India.

"The world art market first took fleeting notice of modern Indian art in the 1990s. A critical appreciation emerged only in the past six to seven years. In February, Sotheby's sold about half a dozen Indian contemporaries along with works by Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon.

Analysts say the enthusiasm coincides with the world's growing attention to Asia.

"There is a new de-centeredness that has come into play in the art world. And it coincides with the so-called rise of the rest, which means vocalization of positions and perspectives that differ from the Western position," said Gayatri Sinha, an art critic."

Interesting to see how this plays out.

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