Article by Alena Sokhan in Berlin // Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015
For the seventh time, New Delhi will be hosting artists, collectors, gallery owners, museum directors, and art enthusiasts from around the world for the India Art Fair from Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2015, boasting a program that is particularly impressive in scope and diversity. The India Art Fair will reflect on the unique image India presents to others, celebrate the local culture and contribute to the global art dialogue while creating a receptive environment for its guests. The phenomenon of globalization is bringing non-western cultures into visibility in the art scene, with major art fairs appearing in a variety of countries as the art world increasingly becomes decentralized. Founding director of the India Art Fair Neha Kirpal states perceptively: “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”.
David Gerstein “Endless Walk” (2010), hand painted steel cutout, 3 layers, 95 x 160 cm, photo courtesy of the Bruno Art Group and the India Art Fair
The Art Fair spans a renovated and expanded permanent structure along with two large tents, containing 85 exhibiting galleries in a total of 90 booths that will showcase a breadth of modern and contemporary art practices including painting, sculpture, new media, installation and performance art.
K. G. Subramanyam “Couple” (2014), reverse painting on acrylic sheet, 24 x 36 inch, photo courtesy of Art Heritage and the India Art Fair
This year’s Artistic Projects series is composed of a dense collection of works in the outdoor and indoor fair space, showing works from high profile Indian and international artists. Some works to look out for are renowned French artist Daniel Buren’s massive installation, specially designed as the art fair facade, or Atul Bhalla’s interactive and thought provoking work in which visitors can walk through a maze of turnstiles, while Chitra Ganesh and Dhruvi Acharya will create a collaborative painting over a period of four days on site, from blank canvas to finished work. Also highly anticipated is Francesco Clemente’s tent installation, in which Clemente has collaborated with a range of Indian artisans in Chennai, Orissa, Varanasi and Jodhpur to create a series of tents, using a range of techniques such as embroidery, block printing and his own unique painting methods.
Anita Arbidane “Morning” (2014), oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm, photo courtesy of Art Gallery and the India Art Fair
The fair is closely integrated with the Speakers’ Forum, a series of lectures, panels and talks, from a wide range of people who have different roles in the art world: artists, curators, critics, administrators, academics, gallerists and collectors. Notable speakers include Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director of documenta, Dr. Venu Vasudevan, Director General of the National Museum, Delhi, Jeremy Deller, an artist, who represented Britain at the 2013 Venice Biennale, Sheikha Hoor al Qasimi, Director of the Sharjah Biennale and curator of the UAE pavilion at the upcoming Venice Biennale, and Julian Stallabrass, Professor at the Courtauld Institute London.