The India Art Fair remains an elite, exciting experience which has been well managed. Many old galleries aren’t there this year but nearly every major Indian artist is being shown — Husain, Raza, Tyeb, Souza, Bawa.
There are so many artists looking at realities differently — I found creative warmth in most. Some works that stood out for me are:
* Akbar Padamsee’s 2012 Metascape — a series which he began after studying the Sanskrit play called Abhijnanashakuntalam (The recognition of Shakuntala) by Kalidas (Priyasri).* SH Raza’s Bindu yatra, both the large and small works — the series from the ‘80s in which he found his Indian vision (Gallerie Alternatives)
* I found the paintings by Ram Kumar to be extremely sensitive (Chawla). The work by contemporary artist Bharti Kher is very exciting, as are the sculptures by Himmat Shah, especially the terracotta in gold (Delhi Art Gallery).
* The new media work by Jitish Kallat is interesting. It consists of a piece of historical correspondence projected onto a curtain of dry fog. Its a letter written by Gandhi to Hitler in 1939 (Chemould Prescott Road).
* From the newer Indian artists, Smriti Dixit and Hema Upadhyay are the ones to watch out for (Art Musings, Chemould Prescott Road). Among the foreign ones, I liked English artist Damien Hirst’s butterflies (Paul Stolper).
* The other interesting aspect is the Speakers’ Forum. Most speakers are intellectually rich and its important to understand what artists everywhere are doing today and their contexts.
(Vajpeyi is a culture critic)
As told to Shalini Singh