Downturn or not, the international art fraternity's interest in Indian art seems set to continue unabated. The participation of four artists at the 53rd Venice Biennale follows close on the heels of a number of important exhibitions at galleries and museums showcasing contemporary Indian art this year.
Japan’s Mori Art Museum concluded a four-month long major show, Chalo! India, on March 15, at which 100 works — paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, photographs, performances — by more than 27 artists/groups were displayed. Curated by Miki Akkiko of the Museum, the display was accompanied by panel discussions by artists like Subodh Gupta, the Raqs Media Collective, and critic Deepak Ananth.
India was the guest country at the prestigious Arco art fair in Spain in February this year. Curated by artist Bose Krishnamachari, Arco also had a solo show by Dayanita Singh.
Then, Indian Highway, a major exhibition of Indian art practice opened at the Serpentine Gallery in London, running from December 2008 to February. Not only did it have all the big names of contemporary art — Gupta, Jitish Kallat, NS Harsha, Nikhil Chopra, etc — but the exhibition also showcased an ambitious series of large-scale paintings by MF Husain on the history of India. In April, the show travelled to the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo.