For the Love of Art
Every year there is a kind of excitement and curious anticipation of the country’s largest art show – India Art Fair. The four-day high profile event recently took place the Capital from 29 January till 1 February and featured 3,500 works, 90 booths, and 85 exhibitors from 67 countries.
Unlike earlier editions, the number of outdoor installations and experimental sculptures were minimised to only a few, amongst them – the distinctive work “Serenity of Desolation” by Veer Munshi – a life-sized reproduction of a wooden Kashmiri house as if overthrown by the flood which ravaged the northern regions last year. Amidst the known (and to some extent repetitive) repertoire of masters like H.Raza, F.Souza, M.F.Hussain, Ram Kumar, and S.Burman, there stood out works by the less known artists like Rahul Kumar, whose bright and innovative ceramic plate installation spread across one of the large walls of the exhibition hall. His “Circle Uncircled” comprised of 101 ceramic plates of different colours and sizes, and added organic rhythm and vibration to the exposition.
Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed looked at traditional art forms from a new angle – his carpets with elaborate unfinished ends called “Shapeless” suggested the fragile moment of creation when the object is yet about to transform into its visible configuration. For the first time, one booth space was shared by two galleries from Moscow – TNK and Les Oreades – which brought an impressive collection of Russian masters from the early 1980s divided into certain semantic and stylistic categories – the first one deals with metaphorical symbolism and the another one demonstrates the evolvement of figurative art to abstraction.
Art Fair related events around Delhi included special exhibitions in many galleries, a vast eve-of festival reception at an art museum run by Kiran Nadar, art lecture breakfasts on the terrace of the Taj Mahal Hotel, and a closing party thrown at Le Méridien.
In spite of the fact that the India Art Fair is a magnetic point for the international galleries and exhibitors, this year there was the visible absence of many significant galleries from New York, Tokyo, Madrid, London, and Munich. As it was correctly pointed out by Delhi’s Press, due to various reasons ‘there is the fair risk of the (Art Fair)losing its international tag if it does not improve its appeal for leading galleries from the US and Europe.’ Keeping this in mind, one would like to wish that the Art Fair organisers re-evaluate their potential and strategies and to continue to maintain the high standards of this international event.
Mannu Dosaj, Gallerie Alternatives (Gurgaon)
TNK and Les Oreades Galleries (Moscow,Russia)
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India Art Fair 2015