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A tale of two art fairs

The dates for the fifth edition of the India Art Fair are out. Scheduled to take place from January 31 to February 3, 2013, the fair this time will host around 100 galleries displaying more than 1,000 artworks. One of the highlights this year is an active participation of South Asian artists.

art and culture Updated: Aug 25, 2012 00:38 IST
Aakriti Sawhney
Visitors-look-at-a-works-of-art-at-the-India-Art-Fair-in-New-Delhi-AFP-Photo-Sajjad-Hussain
Visitors-look-at-a-works-of-art-at-the-India-Art-Fair-in-New-Delhi-AFP-Photo-Sajjad-Hussain

The dates for the fifth edition of the India Art Fair are out. Scheduled to take place from January 31 to February 3, 2013, the fair this time will host around 100 galleries displaying more than 1,000 artworks. One of the highlights this year is an active participation of South Asian artists.



“Collectors can look forward to one of the strongest presentations of South Asian art shown to date at the fair. In the past, we have seen a significant increase in interest from Asia, which includes galleries, museums, and individual collectors from China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore,” says Neha Kirpal, founder and co-owner of India Art Fair.



Besides this, the fair will see its regular features at NSIC Exhibition Grounds such as a VIP preview that will take place on January 31, a speakers’ forum, some book launches and an art book store.



But before the curtains are raised for the India Art Fair, there is another art event in the Capital that will open to the public this September. Titled, United Art Fair (UAF), the three day event will take place from September 27 to 30. The organisers claim that the fair is one of the biggest artist driven art fairs in the country. We talked to the organisers and found what the fair is all about.



It will see artworks of 525 emerging artists who are hand picked from across India, besides the works of masters and other mid level artists. The organisers went to 15 cities in India under a programme called, The UAF Outreach, and asked the artists to present their works. They got responses from over 3,800 artists. From these, they asked 1,850 artists to apply and then selected 525 out of them. The range of the works includes paintings, sculptures, printmaking, photography, video and digital art.



“The need of the hour is to get a fresh wave in the art world. Galleries show the same artists again and again. We need to show new artworks and artists,” says Annurag Sharma, the brain behind the concept. “The fair is not at all a parallel to the India Art Fair, as the format is completely different. We have personally selected the artists and are giving them space free of cost,” he adds.



Other exciting things at the fair include a Master’s Hall, featuring nearly 50 works from modern Indian artists that the organisers have sourced from a gallery, and a special tribute to Raja Deendayal. “All of the works of Raja Deendayal on display at the fair have never been published or displayed before. We sourced them from the family trust,” says Sharma. The works are ranged between Rs 30,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh for emerging artists, Rs 25 to R80 lakhs for mid level and Rs 1 crore for masters. The fair is open to all.