Delhi: India Art Fair is the leading platform to discover modern and contemporary art from South Asia. After a two-year absence due to the coronavirus outbreak, there is a distinct sense of enthusiasm about the (physical) return of the India Art Fair among artists and art enthusiasts which will have 77 exhibitors. It will take place on April 28-May 1, 2022 at NSIC Estate, Okhla Phase III, Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi.
There will be a slew of established galleries displaying their collections such as (Chatterjee and Lal, Jhaveri Contemporary, Nature Morte, Gallery SKE), as well as a slew of new ones (Chatterjee and Lal, Jhaveri Contemporary, Nature Morte, Gallery SKE) (Ojas Art, Terrain. Art and Vida Heydari Contemporary). Aicon, Grosvenor Gallery, and Galeria Karla Osorio are among the international galleries that will participate in India Art Fair 2022.
Focus (solo presentations curated by participating galleries), Platform (to showcase traditional Indian art forms), and The Studio (with artistic book works and games by Thukral and Tagra as part of their "and Archive" project, a sneak peek of what to expect when MAP Bengaluru opens later this year) are among the Fair's newer sections, overseen by Jaya Asokan. There will also be an expanded Young Collectors' Programme (with a MadStarBase x Method India collaboration titled Fresh Produce that highlights emerging stars in Art and Design), performance art by artists-in-residence Gurjeet Singh and Arpita Akhanda, workshops (in a dedicated space), panel discussions, and BMW Art Talks for visitors.
Plenty of outdoor art projects are also planned that will no doubt be taking over our Instagram feeds. The tent facade for the 2022 edition will be designed by Anshuka Mahapatra(a multidisciplinary art practitioner working across mediums like painting, printmaking, and video installation) and trans collective Aravani will create a 50-foot mural along the walkway into the fair; Serendipity Arts Foundation is setting up a library of festival books and catalogues.
Asgar Ali, a Delhi based artist, Founder of Kalabhumi says, "This year's theme is 'Deep Future'. The youth's mindset is focused on fast tracks and dwindling attention spans. Seminars and workshops this year will focus on building dedication in artists. Last year, there was a slew of abstract art which is expected this year too. Although, I wish to see more of realist paintings. Apart from this, 10 best art institutions across India have been invited to display their work making the fair bigger and more creative this year."
Sunita Lamba, A Delhi-based sculptor says, "The inauguration of India Art Festival in the Constitution club was itself a great event. It was nice to come together after the pandemic. Rajendra Patil, Director, India Art Festival, had made some great preparations. The India Art is a wonderful platform where artists, exhibitors buyers, and students come under one roof."
Dr Gayatri Mathur, In-charge, Garhi artists’ studio, Lalit Kala Academy from Delhi, says, "Art and culture is the most important soft power which helps any country grow. The India Art Fair is special for me as it's a private sector fair where not just - national but international artists display their art. Although we were forced to stay in our homes for the last two years, artists have been active. I am looking forward to witnessing some great artworks this year."
Senior artist Sanjay Bhattacharya holds a very dim view of art fairs, "The word 'fair' or 'mela' is a place where you go with friends to enjoy. Art needs closed studios and that is called an exhibition. If you ask a classical singer to perform on a runway, she or he would probably refuse. I have participated in the past where my works were kept, and I was live painting. But I did not like the experience. But this is not a serious platform for real art."