No cutting edge installations, no bizarre artworks, not trying too hard. As we stood in the centre of the main foyer at the sixth edition of India Art Fair at NSIC Grounds, we were surrounded by canvases, paintings, wall art and framed works — undoubtedly, the conventional classic format has made a big comeback.
As the fair director, Neha Kripal says, “The audience respond to what they relate to. Over the years, the IAF has become the audience’s fair. 40% of our buyers are first time investors in art and that too, from smaller cities in India.”
Peter Femfert of Die Galerie, Germany, adds, “Indian art market is still very conventional. Buyers and collectors come looking for Souza and Raza.” Femfert’s booth has some amazing works of Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Andre Masson, all in the conventional format. The installations at the fair, the few we spotted, too seemed to take from the canvases around.
While this time around some big names decided to give the fair a miss, museums like Himalayas Art Museum, Shanghai, debuted at the fair.
Nonetheless, with artworks worth Rs 400 crore and more than 3,000 artworks from 1,000 artists across the globe, the fair has claimed a space for itself in the art circuit, both in India and abroad.
Indian art market is still very conventional. Buyers and collectors come looking for Souza and Raza
Peter Femfert of Die Galerie, Germany
We have always had strong faith in the traditional genre of art, which has and will always survive despite the ups and downs of the art market
Shobha Bhatia, director, Gallerie Ganesha
Collectors and new buyers want to invest in art that they can show on their walls
Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace
“What’s interesting is the fact that the fair stimulates many interesting art events around it. So it’s not just the fair ground that sees some of the best art action, but also the rest of the city,” says Shireen Gandhy of gallery Chemould, Mumbai.
Other interesting features include a ­curated art project with 24 large-scale installations, performance art and more. We give you a glimpse of the works that caught our fancy.