A Definitive India Art Fair at Seven

 Feature: A Definitive Art Fair at Seven / Sushma Sabnis

The much awaited and celebrated art event of the year, India Art Fair returns with a lot of hope and renewed vigour from 29th January to 1st February 2015. This year the fair promises a curated focus and brings in increased diversity and enhanced quality to the fair. A report by Sushma Sabnis.

Visitors at India Art Fair 2014, watch Anindita Dutta's performance.

Visitors at India Art Fair 2014, watch Anindita Dutta’s performance.

Live music, Delhi’s illustrious culinary varieties and added design elements- 7th edition of India Art Fair has more to offer than a scintillating visual treat. The organizers claim that the forthcoming edition is going to ‘define’ India in the international art market. “India Art Fair has taken stock of the way the world is looking at India and the way in which India presents itself to the world,” says Neha Kirpal, the founding director of India Art Fair. As the IAF is due on 29th January 2015, Kirpal is optimistic about all region specific art market. “As more international fairs representing emerging markets are established, the desire for collectors is not necessarily to follow the same artists and galleries around the globe, but to engage at a deeper level with each region. This is the approach that India Art Fair is embracing,” Kirpal says.

India Art Fair has always acted as a catalytic platform for bringing forth the unseen and deeper nuances of Indian art on a global level. The art fair has also been successful in opening up a dialogue with the world and other art centres, bringing in fresh perspectives and exchange of views to a wider audience. Apart from this India Art Fair has been able to redefine the intricacies of art collection, by having something for everyone, at the fair. This ensures the return of the serious collectors and manages to create interest in art collection among the younger buyers in the country and also the world. As Sandy Angus, Co-owner of India Art Fair puts it, “In my experience of running art fairs in several emerging markets around the world, I can see that collectors today travel the globe to be able to see art from different regions and have a distinguished experience wherever they may go. The desire is to see fresh new works and art forms from exciting emerging markets…”

True to the mission and vision of the founders, this year the IAF will see the participation of 85 galleries in a total of 90 booths, obviously with new artists and new works. The variety of works on could expect would range from modern and contemporary art including paintings, sculptures, new media installation works and performance art. This year IAF introduces a new Artistic Director, Girish Shahane. He would be directing both the Artistic Projects and the Speakers’ Forum.

The Speakers’ Forum will engage the entire range of stakeholders in the visual arts – artists, curators, critics, administrators, academics, gallerists and collectors, as well as covering a wide spectrum of artistic practices. Speakers will include Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director of documenta, Dr. Venu Vasudevan, Jeremy Deller, Sheikha Hoor al Qasimi and Julian Stallabrass.

Artistic Projects include outdoor and indoor fair spaces which would present a range of work from high profile Indian and international artists. Highlights of the program include renowned French artist Daniel Buren’s massive installation work specially designed for the art fair facade. This is the first of an annual artist­led facade installation project at the fair. Atul Bhalla’s walk through maze of turnstiles, an interactive work that is both fun and thought­provoking and Chitra Ganesh and Dhruvi Acharya would collaborate on an on site painting, giving visitors an insight into the processes contemporary artists employ in their work. Another interesting project would be in the form of Francesco Clemente’s tent installation. For 40 years Clemente has collaborated with a range of Indian artisans in Chennai, Orissa, Varanasi and Jodhpur creating his series of tents using a range of techniques such as embroidery, block printing and his own spectacular paintings.

In addition, presenting partner YES Bank will host a series of talks and events in the YES Bank Lounge, including conversations with artists and collectors, workshops with the Asia Art Archive and book launches for Arpita Singh with Vadehra Art Gallery, and Forms of Devotion with Sushma Bahl and the Museum of Sacred Art.

The layout of this year’s India Art Fair exhibits has been arranged in three pavilions. The two main spaces/ tents will have an additional permanent display space exclusively presented by Delhi Art Gallery, which would be hosting the largest ever exhibition of Indian modern and contemporary art by India’s most important artists.

With new design elements, live music and an offering of Delhi’s most popular restaurants to look forward to, the India Art Fair 2015 returns with its patented wholesome experience for artists, art lovers, art collectors and viewers from all over the world.

(Report: Sushma Sabnis)

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