Pundole Art Gallery was established by Kali Pundole in 1963 in the bustling Fort area of Mumbai.
The evolution of the family business from a framing workshop to an art gallery was an organic process, as several artists and collectors alike would often visit the frame shop.
Although the art gallery was established in 1963, D. R. Pundole and Sons, the existing family business of clocks and watches had been operating out of the same premises at 369 Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Road since 1886, where several generations of the family had worked.
The original business was eventually scaled back to make way for the newer interests in the art market that was slowly developing in Mumbai around this time.
Pundole Art Gallery was one of the earliest galleries in the city’s vibrant, emerging art scene in post-independence India.
The gallery is recognised for its long associations with the late artists M. F. Husain, V. S. Gaitonde, K. H. Ara, F. N. Souza, Adi Davierwala, Badri Narayan, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee and Shamshad Husain, as well as Krishen Khanna, Sakti Burman, Laxman Shreshtha, Laxma Goud, Prabhakar Kolte and Jogen Chowdhury who still continue to work today. It was Kali Pundole’s foresight combined with his empathy and business acumen that saw several of these earliest associations developed into deeper friendships that were inherited and further nurtured by his son Dadiba. Over the last six decades, these artists have emerged as some of the most respected names in Modern Indian art, having exhibited all over the world and enjoyed a great deal of recognition representing their art both within India and abroad.
The Gallery’s location, set in the centre of Flora Fountain, and close to both Churchgate and VT stations, made it an ideal meeting spot for both collectors and artists alike.
Animated discussions and friendly banter over cups of Parsi pudina chai and hot brun maska from the bakery around the corner became de rigueur for the artistic community, as it welcomed easy and spirited interactions between artists from all creative fields. Being on the street front was an added bonus, as it gave everyone easy access to both the art and the artists.
Kali’s son Dadiba started as an apprentice in 1980 and took over the management on his father’s passing away in 1990.
Besides cultivating his old relationships, Dadiba also introduced some newer artists into the gallery’s stable. In 2005, however, the gallery embarked on a slightly different path, as Dadiba had an opportunity to work with Sotheby’s for five years as a consultant for their Modern and Contemporary Indian art auctions that were being held in both London and New York in keeping with the growing market and demand for Indian art.
An unexpected and urgent phone call in late January 2011 led to a fortuitous meeting, which further cemented the new and exciting avatar the gallery would adopt.
In April 2011 Pundole Art Gallery hosted an auction under the newly formed auction house, Pundole’s. This one single-owner live auction held in Mumbai completed the transformation from gallery to auction house.