LONDON - The first evening sale in modern and contemporary Indian art ever to be held by an international auction house is at Sotheby’s New York on March 19. This single-owner sale from the collection of author and tastemaker Amrita Jhaveri, promises to generate much buzz and anticipation in the field. It will be my first sale here at Sotheby’s—what a big one to start.

Interior of Amrita Jhaveri's Mumbai flat.
Amrita is a former colleague and a great friend. When I talk to her about art and the Indian art world, we often lose track of time.
How did this sale come about? Before Christmas, I received a phone call: Amrita was taking stock of her works and pondering her future direction as a collector. With so much of her collection in storage, and due to space constraints in London and Mumbai, no one was getting a chance to enjoy it. She also wanted to sell a few works that she bought at conservative prices, to raise funds and continue to collect. My heart raced from visions of a single-owner sale, and I immediately suggested it.

Interior of Amrita Jhaveri's Mumbai flat.

Over the next few weeks, working closely with Amrita, we debated which works to include. The dynamics between us shifted daily: Amrita, as a passionate collector, had to come to terms with the dilemma of parting with works that she really loved.
We finally had our selection, but something was missing. Then, Ishrat, Laurie and Henry from our department suggested an Evening sale —A First! (This has long been a dream of mine.) Amrita was thinking along the same lines. If we do a sale, why not go all-out?
The 43 works reflect the diversity of the Amaya collection and Amrita’s eclectic taste. We are proud to be associated with her. We are further inspired by Amrita’s support of artists at the grass-roots level, through the non-profit organization KHOJ.