Savita Apte is an Art Historian specializing in Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art and has been actively involved in South Asian art since 1989. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Asian Art and a Masters in Post War and Contemporary Art and her doctoral thesis is on the Progressive Artists Group and Modernism in India. In 1995 she joined Sotheby’s as their consultant expert for Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, for their auctions in London and New York and was instrumental in setting up the Sotheby’s Prize for contemporary Indian art. In 2009, she was the co-respondent for the 53rd Venice Biennale, responsible for curating South Asian and Middle Eastern artists at the Arsenale. Also in 2009 she was an associate of the Serpentine Gallery for the show Indian Highway that toured around Europe and China.
Since then Apte has successfully forged a career bridging her interests in academic research with art business. She co founded Asal Partners and Platform Projects, each of which advanced research-based art and its audiences. She is a founder director of Art Dubai and is on the advisory board of the Asia Art Archive, AlSerkal Avenue and Para Site; in addition to being on the board of Khoj. She has previously served on the board of Art and Business, UK. In 2009 Apte formulated The Abraaj Group Art Prize, which helped focus international attention on art production, curation and art writing from the MENASA region. Until 2016 she served as the Chair of the Prize overseeing the commissions whilst also expanding and documenting the corporate collection.
Apte regularly lectures on South Asian art history, postcolonial modernisms and the market at Sotheby’s Institute London, SOAS and Oxford University OUDCE and Singapore. She has two forthcoming publications on the subject. She contributes regularly to academic journals and has been invited as a guest curator for a number of international exhibitions.