India Art Fair is back with an all-new edition to take you on a safari of South Asian art. Congregating 75 exhibitors from 20 different cities from all across the world, here is what to expect from the 12th edition of IAF.
Evincing the art landscape of India and its neighbouring countries, India Art Fair is the leading platform for modern and contemporary art from South Asian region. In its illustrious history of over a decade, IAF has congregated contemporary painters, sculptors, galleries, private foundations, artists’ collectives and charity groups from all across South Asia to create a momentary behemoth that proclaims its potential.
Founded in 2008, this year’s fair will be the 12th edition of IAF and will be celebrated from January 30 till February 2at NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla, New Delhi. Under the directorial governance of Jagdip Jagpal, appointed as the Fair Director in 2017, the previous two editions of IAF have undergone major strategic and curatorial enhancements which has added a totally new dimension of art experience to the Fair.
This year’s edition will be the first one under the ownership of Angus Montgomery Arts which will feature 75 exhibitors spanning 20 different global cities from Asia, Europe, North and South America, with 14 of them being from India. The tent façade, which will inhabit the installations, will be designed by the popular Indian artist Sameer Kulavoor.
Talking about the limited entries of international exhibitors, Jagdip said in a conversation with National Herald, at the last year’s fair:
“Out of the 75 exhibitors, we have about 15 international participants. The reason why we limit them is because we are committed to the gallery system here. So, we hold minimum 70 per cent of the floor space for Indian galleries to participate”.
By creating such an ardent and artistic festival, industry giants are bound to be attracted towards it. The previous year’s edition attracted leading figures of India’s cultural scene like Vikram Seth, Sanjay Garg, Shabana Azmi, Gaurav Jai Gupta, JJ Valaya and Javed Akhtar. Along with that, the fair also welcomed a few major galleries and art foundations like Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA), Kiran Nadar Museum of Arts, Museum of Art and Photography (Bangalore), Serendipity Arts Foundation (New Delhi), Sokyo Gallery (Kyoto), Metta Contemporary and Museum of Art and Photography (Bangalore) and neugerriemschneider (Berlin). They also started an all new programme which features dedicated tours for people who require special assistance to understand the artworks and truly explore the fair.
Although last year’s list of exhibitors was quite impressive, 2020’s line-up is equally enticing. Exhibiting some of India’s most established galleries like DAG, Dhoomimal Gallery and Crayon Art Gallery, IAF will be featuring a diverse ensemble of contemporary art galleries of our country, including Aakriti Art Gallery, Experimenter, Emami Art (Kolkata); Nature Morte, Exhibit 320, Gallery Espace(New Delhi); Jhaveri Contemporary, Project 88 (Mumbai); Art Houz, Gallery Veda (Chennai); Gallery White (Vadodra); and Archer Art Gallery, ZOCA (Ahmedabad).
Accolading the four hundred year old traditional art form of Pichvai, Pichvai Tradition & Beyond (Delhi) will be presenting an exclusive collection which will be a contemporary celebration of the art form.
Returning international galleries include David Zwirner (London, New York, Hong Kong), Aicon Art&Aicon Contemporary (New York), and1×1 Art Gallery (Dubai), along with a few new entrants comprising of Saskia Fernando Gallery (Colombo, Sri Lanka), Marc Straus (New York, USA), and Gallery Tableau (Seoul).
While showcasing artworks that have been pivotal in contributing to the art-scape of the world, it is also necessary to understand the changing dimensions of the industry to aspire and inspire people to become better artists. For that, IAF hosts various talk sessions and workshops that aim to help artists hone their skills and broaden their understanding of art, along with introducing the art domain to those who are unfamiliar with the field. With 12 talk sessions scheduled to be conducted in the span of 4 days, artists and art curators will talk about creative methods to increase viewer engagement, the impact of art beyond the walls of an exhibition, their experiences & struggles and various other important topics that revolve around the art industry.
For those who want to learn a few tricks and techniques to grow as artists, IAF also has a fine range of workshops lined up for you. Explore a new style called ‘Collective Collage’ with Ghiora Aharoni (New York) which is inspired by the surrealist art practice of cadavre exquis, try your hand at cartooning with Gagan Singh or learn how to make art out of waste paper with Manisha Parekh.
Realising the immense potential of performance art in South Asia, IAF started a Performance Art section last year. Some of the performances included in this section are loose Woman by Maya Krishna Rao, national award winning theatre artist; Naksha, An Untold Odyssey by Piyali Ghosh, a Baroda based multidisciplinary artist; and a colourful performance called Nobody is Born Wise by Nigerian artist Jelili Atiku whose works address political concerns for human rights and justice.
Inspired by a French racing driver’s idea to paint his BMW 3.0 CSL, BMW released their exquisite collection of Art Cars which features a limited collection of BMW cars that have been used by some of the biggest artists as a canvas. Till date, there are 19 BMW Art Cars. Every year, ever since BMW became the presenting partner of IAF, one art car makes its way to the fair. This time, it is Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW M1. To celebrate the artist, there will be a talk session titled ‘The Warhol Talk’ which will share the lesser-known facets of the artist’s life, including the story behind him painting the car.
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