Artequest

Info for Buyers

Indian Art History

We present two articles written by prominent art historians and critics. The first one gives a background of contemporary Indian Art and traces the progression of the visual arts from Nandalal Bose onwards. The second article dwells on the younger generation of painters from all parts of India. Both the articles have been written in a different context but serve as a comprehensive introduction to contemporary Indian art.

A Perspective on Process - By Geeti Sen

Painting is most significantly, a process of realisation: from that initial point of stimulus, reverie or impassioned response to its transposition into the mind’s eye of the artist and her/his tentative experiments – to a stage when the image is brought ‘to life’ on paper or canvas. This is the final moment of realisation; but the journey remains equally relevant.

Emerging India : Young Contemporaries - By Parul Dave Mukherjee with contributions from Giridhar Khasnis & Nandini Ghosh

I am not saying that we are living the end of art: we are living the end of the idea of modern art. - Octavio Paz, Children of the Mire: Modern Poetry from Romanticism to the Avant-Garde

If defining the contemporary is no longer the prerogative of the west in our post colonial and increasingly post nationalist present, the different takes on the contemporary become a central issue today. Much as we have come to distrust the binary logic in our postmodern era, placing contemporary Indian art in relation to trends in the west inevitably entails comparativism of sorts. If in the west, apocalyptic imagination about the end of art and art history periodically asserts itself; the Indian cultural scene envisions dreams of renewal and regeneration.

Investing in Art

Getting Initiated into Art

The working mantra for all those art enthusiasts aspiring to invade into the world of art appreciation consists - Instinct and Interest. While your instinct would drive you to what you like and develop your taste in art, the interest would make you discover and learn more about the world of art.

Investing in Art

A Good Taste and a Fair business sense - that is all that takes to make a smart investment in art. It is a myth that as a pre-requisite for buying art, one has to have a great art vocabulary, with the history of the evolution of art on the fingertips and a knowledge bank to distinguish one art form from another. It is instead a simpler theory.

How to Start Investing in Art

If you want an investment advice, people usually tell you to invest in stocks, real estate or other fixed deposit schemes. Very few talk about art whereas collecting art is one of the most unique and enjoyable investments.

At present, art is as hot an investment as real estate due to the vibrant art scene and increasing profile of Indian art in the international market. The returns are as good if not better, provided one invests in the right artists at the right price. It is much easier to invest in art, one can invest in small or big amounts suiting one's investible surplus. Good aesthetics and some business sense - that is all that takes to make a smart investment in art. You can start at as low as Rs. 25,000 and go up to any amount that suits you.

Art Care and Conservation

The term 'Conservation' means a careful approach, which comprises the processes of stabilization, preservation and often restoration, using reversible materials, which will not be hazardous to the object. Conservation can broadly be of two types:

  • Preventive conservation in which regular maintenance and care are taken to prevent the onset of damage or future problems to the object. Proper environment, storage, display, etc. are all essential to forestall deterioration.
  • Interventive conservation in which any treatment to an object in the form of cleaning, mending tears, in painting, removing old and improper restorations, etc. is carried out.

Few Basic Rules For All Art Connoisseurs

First time art buyers should follow certain rules to keep their art works in the best of conditions. Art collectors should always keep in mind that art needs special care and is more than just a commodity.

  • Never lean the front or back surface of a stretched canvas on a pointed or sharp object. This will leave a dent that will disfigure your work. If you must lean it against something, lean it on the wood of its stretcher bars so that nothing presses against the canvas.
  • Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will fade the colors in your oil painting. Take care to avoid direct sunlight.
  • Dust your artwork with a soft and a dry cloth. If the surface of your painting looks dry and dull, you may want to have it varnished. Varnish is a protective surface, which will not only enhance the image, but will keep the surface intact and safe from cracking.
  • If you must transport the work, lay a flat piece of cardboard, mat board or similar firm material over the front and back surfaces, and then wrap it in bubble wrap or Styrofoam wrap. Try not to keep it wrapped up for too long as to avoid moisture buildup, which might cause damage to the work.
  • Never expose your painting to extreme heat, extreme cold, or to extreme humidity.
  • If something goes wrong with the artwork bring it to a professional conservator who can fix it properly. Don't do it yourself! Bring it to someone who knows what to do.
  • If you ever need or want to do away with the artwork for any reason, always contact the artist, who should be informed of the work's new whereabouts so he or she can update the work's provenance records. Never, ever destroy or throw away an original work of art!!!

Caring For Works of Art On Paper

Although works of art on paper such as prints, drawings, and watercolors are inherently fragile, they can be easily and effectively protected from damage and deterioration. Preservation measures include:

  • Proper storage and handling, including framing
  • Protection from light
  • Protection from unsafe temperature and relative humidity conditions
  • Protection from pollutants and airborne particulates.

Tips For Proper Storage And Handling For Works of Art On Paper

  • Works of art on paper should be touched as little as possible.
  • Be sure that your hands are very clean, or wear white cotton gloves. Better yet, mat, frame, or store the works in a manner that permits viewing and transporting without direct handling.
  • Because paper is damaged by prolonged contact with acidic surroundings, the choice of storage and mounting materials is crucial.
  • Mats, folders, and mounting adhesives must be chemically stable, non-staining, and permanent but reversible.
  • Although framers are more knowledgeable today, some are still unaware of the importance of using preservation-quality materials. It is essential to find one who does. A paper conservator or a major museum can refer you to such a framer. If your works on paper were framed commercially before 1980, poor-quality mounting materials may have been used. One common sign of poor mat board is browning of the cut edge of the window opening. If you are unsure of how to identify the material in your framed artwork, consult a paper conservator.

The Essentials Of Proper Framing Are

  • A mat window and backboard made of 100% rag board or the lignin-free, alkaline-buffered mat board especially for preservation purposes
  • Be sure that your hands are very clean, or wear white cotton gloves. Better yet, mat, frame, or store the works in a manner that permits viewing and transporting without direct handling.
  • Attachment of the artwork to the mat or mount by hinging with high-quality Japanese paper and a permanent, non-staining, reversible adhesive. Homemade starch paste is the choice of conservators. Avoid commercial tapes, including those advertised as archival. If you want to try to do your own matting, a paper conservator can advise you about sources of supplies.
  • Protective glazing, either glass or rigid acrylic should cover the artwork. The artwork must not be in direct contact with the glazing material. Ultraviolet filtering products, available in glass as well as plastic, are recommended to protect against the most destructive component of light. Note that acrylics carry a static charge and must not be used with pastels, charcoal, or other powdery or flaking medium.
  • An additional protective layer of sturdy, lignin-free cardboard at the back of the frame. The frame should also be well sealed to discourage entry of air.

Caring For Your Unframed Artwork

  • Unframed works of art must have individual protective enclosures. Although matting is preferred, sturdy individual folders are an acceptable alternative. Like mat board, these folders must be made of lignin-free, buffered stock that is rigid enough to provide adequate support.
  • To protect the edges of the artwork, folders should be somewhat larger than their contents. Objects in folders or mats should be stored flat in lignin-free boxes such as heavy-walled Solander boxes, the traditional choice of museums.
  • Oversized works of art are best kept in the drawers of flat files (map cases). These files should be made of metal rather than wood since wood gives off acidic gases.
  • Wood files can be used if the interior of the drawers is sealed with a water-based polyurethane coating and lined with a suitable barrier material such as lignin-free board or 5-mil polyester film (Mylar). If you purchase storage drawer units, anodized aluminum or powder-coated steel is recommended.

Protection From Light

  • Light causes fading of certain media, especially watercolor, pastels, and many drawing inks. It can also darken or embrittle paper. Light damage is cumulative and irreversible.
  • Because all light will cause damage, conservators recommend that no work on paper be permanently displayed.
  • The best display conditions are those with low light levels and no daylight. Block windows with shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Light sources containing ultraviolet (UV) rays are especially harmful. UV is found in all daylight, most abundantly in sunlight, and in the emissions of certain artificial lights, such as most fluorescent and metal halogen lamps. Ordinary household bulbs (incandescent or tungsten lights) contain negligible UV and are therefore recommended. These bulbs give off heat, however, and should not be placed near the artwork.
  • Special filters are available to screen out UV radiation. Inexpensive plastic sleeves can be purchased for fluorescent tubes.
  • Windows or cases can be covered with stick-on UV-absorbing films, or rigid sheets of UV-filtering plastic or glass can be used in frames or windows.

Protection From Unsafe Temperature And Relative Humidity Conditions

  • Because warm or moist conditions accelerate deterioration, temperature and relative humidity (RH) should not exceed 70F and 60%, respectively. High temperature and RH also encourage mold growth and insect activity. Very low RH, below 25%, is believed to be less damaging but may cause paper to become brittle. Temperature and RH should remain constant.
  • Climatic fluctuations cause expansion and contraction, which can lead to structural damage in paper, weaken the attachment of media, and cause distortions such as rippling of paper. Frames and storage enclosures may provide some degree of protection against daily fluctuations but will not protect paper from long-term or seasonal changes.
  • Temperature can usually be controlled by heating and air conditioning, but more expensive equipment may be necessary to keep the RH constant all year.
  • During periods of high humidity, use fans to circulate air and help discourage mold growth. Above all, do not store works of art in basements or attics. Do not hang them in bathrooms or over heat sources. Unless the building has excellent climate controls, do not subject art on paper to seaside locations or other damp areas.

Protection From Gaseous Pollution And Airborne Particulates

Dust and soot will soil delicate, porous paper surfaces and are difficult to remove safely. Ubiquitous pollutants from industrial gases, auto emissions, and heating compounds are readily absorbed into paper, where they form harmful chemicals that discolor or embrittle the paper. In addition, sources of internal air pollution, such as copying machines, new construction materials, paint fumes, new carpets, janitorial supplies, and emissions from wooden cabinets, can attack paper.

Controlling air quality is often difficult. Probably the most practical way to protect art on paper is to enclose each object in protective housing made with appropriate materials.

When Disaster Strikes

Although hurricanes and earthquakes may be rare, water accidents are common. Even a small amount of water from a leaky roof or pipes can do significant damage to a paper collection. Things to keep in mind are:

  • If objects get wet, call a paper conservator or a museum immediately. It is important to dry paper right away before mold sets in.
  • Wet objects in frames with glazing must be removed from their frames.
  • If you are hesitant to handle the damp paper, expose the object by removing the backing from the frame.
  • If the collection is too large to dry right away, freezing may be necessary.
  • Always speak with a conservator first.

When To Call A Conservator

Qualified conservators specializing in paper must be employed to do treatment of art on paper.Some conditions, which need immediate attention, are:

  • Wet or moldy materials or those with actively flaking media have high priority. So do brittle or fragile papers in danger of splitting or tearing.
  • Because they can stain within months, recently applied self-stick tapes or labels should be removed immediately.
  • Objects stuck onto brittle or acidic cardboard may not require emergency action, but they should be separated from their mounts as soon as possible.
  • When in doubt about the urgency of treatment, show the object to a paper conservator.

Deterioration of Paper

Several important objects are made of paper, whether they are valuable paintings or books. Paper can get damaged in several ways, but there are ways to conserve it and give it a longer life.The causes for deterioration of paper are as follows:

  • Seasonal shifts in humidity and temperature causes painted canvas to contract or expand resulting in disturbing the bond between the paint film and support. The paint film is pushed upward, often till it fractures.
  • Artist's technique and choice of materials.
  • Deterioration of glue size in the ground.
  • Aging paint film tends to lose its elasticity and becomes more susceptible to flaking, cracking and cupping.
  • Water damage, fire damage, or physical damage from a blow can also cause the paint film to flake.

Cleaning Measures And Techniques

A few simple measures can give a piece of art a much longer life. All you are required to do is to remember a few basic things:

  • Clean the surface and the back of a painting from time to time especially if it is kept in storage.
  • To prevent dust accumulation on unglazed surface of paintings they should be hung inclined top forward.
  • Accumulated dust should be blown of with compressed air or vacuumed off with a soft clean brush.
  • For dirt that cannot be blown or vacuumed, the use of distilled water or saliva on white cotton swabs is the best method. Small swabs should be used to clean small areas.
  • To clean Acrylic paintings solvent-based resins can be used. However, since the solubility gap between paint layer and protective varnish is very small one has to be very selective about such solvents.
  • To clean Oil paintings, cotton swabs dampened with saliva removes accumulated dirt. Mineral spirit should be used in small quantities only where the dirt is a little greasy without dissolving the varnish.
  • To clean Egg Tempera and Encaustic paintings, slightly damp cotton should be rubbed and then the surface should be buffed up with a piece of silk cloth. Dents and bulges in a canvas should be dabbed with a moist squeezed out sponge. Doing this will shrink the canvas around where the bulge is. Excess dampening could result in excess shrinking which may cause flaking of the paint. So the canvas should be moistened as sparingly as possible.
  • Using a backboard acts as a preventive measure and an effective way for added protection of a canvas. It acts as a physical barrier to water spillages and the accumulation of dirt. It also prevents moisture changes that may cause possible harm to the paint on canvas

Purchasing /Payments

Terms of Sale/Bookings

The works are booked or sold subject to the following conditions:

  • All prices are quoted exclusive of VAT, packaging, insurance and courier charges which will be charged extra as per actual cost incurred.
  • VAT 12.5% is chargeable on all sales within India. No VAT will be charged on exports if the goods are shipped outside India and payment is received in foreign exchange.
  • Local delivery within Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon is free of cost.
  • Artequest gets the paintings professionally packed so that the artwork reaches its customer safely. In case there is any damage to the shipment during transit, Artequest will not be responsible. However, Artequest will help the customer in recovering the compensation for the damage from the courier and insurance companies.
  • All disputes are subject to the courts in Delhi.

Shipping Information For Light Shipments

Rolled or Framed paintings We send the paintings through FedEx as we are registered with them and get discounted rates.The tracking code is informed to the customer after the shipment is handed over.

For Heavy Shipments

For heavy consignments like sculptures, we use air cargo or sea cargo modes. Through sea it takes 30 to 40 days transit time whereas in case of air cargo, it takes just seven days. Although we have door delivery arrangements through cargo mode, customers have the option of getting the paintings cleared through customs themselves. Estimated shipping costs along with insurance amount are informed to overseas customers at the time of booking of the order.

Insurance

All international shipments are insured for any damage during transit at the cost of the buyer. Insurance amount is informed to all overseas customers at the time of booking of the order.

Important

Please check your local custom regulations before ordering any shipments.

Returns & Refunds

Due to Indian custom rules, the paintings/sculptures are sold on no return basis.

Payment Options

The following are the different payment options available at Artequest. Your order will be processed once full payment is received and credited to our account.

For Payments Within India

Demand Draft/Cheque to be made in favour of: Artequest payable at Mumbai.

International Payments

Cheques

Cheque to be made in favour of: "Artequest " payable at Mumbai . The Demand Draft/Cheque should be sent thru courier to the address below with complete details of your order:

Artequest ,
251 b.Oshiwara Ind Centre,
New link Road ,
Opp : oshiwara Bus Depot ,
Goregaon west.
Mumbai -4000104,
INDIA

It takes about 45 days to credit an international cheque.

Credit Cards

We accept all International credit cards like Visa, Master and American Express. The authorization is done via an online payment gateway. For all payments made through Credit cards, please send us the following:

  • Photocopy of the credit card (front and back)
  • Signed letter in original authorising Art Alive to debit your card for the said amount.
  • Credit Card number and valid till date along with 4 digit batch code in case of AMEX and 3 digit CVV code in case of Master/Visa card.

Bank Transfers - WI FI

You can also make the payment through Bank transfer. Please remember to send us the full details of the transfer through email/fax after it is effected. You can pay us in USD/GBP or Euro.

For getting the bank transfer details for each currency you would require a password. Please email us and we will send you the password.

Authencity Guarantee

Artequest sources the works directly from the artists or only from reputable and reliable sources. The works are put up for sale only after these are screened and authenticated by our experts.

Artequest gives an assurance that each piece of art on sale from Artequest Gallery is a genuine and original work. Each sold work is accompanied with a signed Certificate of Authenticity that carries full details of the work, its picture and a laser numbered hologram, and wherever possible, a picture of the work signed by the artist or its provenance.

Certificate of Authenticity

Artequest follows a unique and foolproof procedure of securing the originality of the works. For each work, two sets of holograms with a unique number are generated. One hologram is affixed on the Certificate of Authenticity and the other on the back of the canvas or base of the sculpture, as the case may be. These holograms have been imprinted with the signature of the Gallery Director and are technologically unique as these cannot be duplicated. Because of their tamper evident quality, no hologram can be lifted and pasted on any other work or surface as the hologram destroys itself if tampered with.

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