Today, the NSIC grounds in Okhla will open up to the most important and awaited art event in the Capital this year — the India Art Fair. The fifth edition of the fair is expected to see some of the most cutting edge and popular works from the world over, but while some renowned museums are are part of the event, major galleries that participated last year are giving the art fair a miss this time.
These includes Hauser and Wirth, Lisson Gallery and White Cube from UK. These galleries represent prominent artists such as Anish Kapoor, Subodh Gupta, Paul McCarthy and Bharti Kher. When contacted, Greg Hilty, curatorial director, Lisson Gallery, said, “This year, we are prioritising other global fairs. But we do continue to work closely with South Asian collectors.”
Regulars say market disappointment could be the main reason behind such withdrawal. “Since the last year or two, the art market is not as buoyant as it was in the boom years; this could be the reason for major galleries backing out. In fact, I too toyed with that thought and did think of stepping back but decided against it as I have been a part of the fair from its inception,” says Malini Gulrajani, director, Gallery 1x1, Dubai.
Neha Kripal, director of the fair, says, “In the challenging markets of today, top international galleries are rotating their participation between fairs in emerging markets.”