United Art Fair: the artist-driven fair is back

United Art Fair 2012

In September last year, the announcement of the United Art Fair (UAF) created quite a flurry in Delhi’s art market. Reason — the fair was artist-driven and absolutely free. It involved no exchange of money to buy a space, with the focus only on the artist and his works.

Around 600 artists from all over India participated in the fair. Though the fair had a good opening, it was criticised on the curatorial front. To avoid the mistakes that the fair saw in its first year, the organisational team, for its second edition in the Capital, has got on board some of the most sought after names from the art circuit to run the show. This includes gallerist and curator Peter Nagy, art historian and curator Alka Pande, photographer Ram Rehman, artist Sanjeev Sinha and more.

Scheduled to be held from September 14 till 17 at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, the fair promises to be much bigger and better this year. Besides paintings, sculptures and photography, Nagy plans to include graphic art, folk and tribal art, fashion, textiles, furniture, ceramics and architecture in the fair.

The fair will have around 400 to 450 artists from both India and abroad, a number less than the previous year. The participating artists will be displaying a minimum of three works each. Commenting on the price share, Nagy says, “It will be 50-50 share between the organisers and the artist.”

But Nagy clearly points out that he does not see UAF as a competitor to the India Art Fair. “At UAF, you will get to see something very different from the India Art Fair. And the country has enough talent to host two art fairs.” 

The prices of the work will range from R500 to R5 crore. “This is the right time for UAF to make the start. People now look for art, which is more visual, sensual and more affordable,” says Pande.

The fair is currently in its application stage, where the curatorial team is reviewing and visiting the artists. The organisers plan to hold a pre event in April, where they will showcase some of the works that have made it to the fair.

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