India Art Fair gives space to diverse art practices - Hindustan Times
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India Art Fair gives space to diverse art practices

PTI | | Posted by Parmita Uniyal, New Delhi
Feb 10, 2023 04:17 PM IST

With the participation of 85 exhibitors, including 71 galleries and 14 institutions, it is an eclectic mix of modern, contemporary and digital art at the "most ambitious edition" of the India Art Fair here at the NSIC Exhibition Ground in Okhla.

With the participation of 85 exhibitors, including 71 galleries and 14 institutions, it is an eclectic mix of modern, contemporary and digital art at the "most ambitious edition" of the India Art Fair here at the NSIC Exhibition Ground in Okhla.

The art fair will come to a close on February 12.(indiaartfair.in)
The art fair will come to a close on February 12.(indiaartfair.in)

In its 14th edition, the fair, which kicked off on Thursday, showcases diverse voices in the Indian and international art sphere, including rich Indian works based on Gond, Madhubani, Pattachitra, Kalamkari, Chamba Rumal and Bhil traditions.

This year, the India Art Fair focuses on a distinct amalgamation of art and technology, including an extended Studio presenting its ‘Digital Artist in Residence’ programme, an online platform for artists to come up with new digital artworks.

Based on the theme ‘Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’, visual artist and illustrator Mira Felicia Malhotra has highlighted the oddities and idiosyncrasies of Indian family life in vibrant portraits of women titled “Log Kya Kahenge”.

In a similar fashion, poet-writer Gaurav Ogale is participating with an audio-visual book anthology series ‘Bestsellers’ to explore “the extraordinary biographies of ordinary people”.

“This year, the India Art Fair raises the bar, boldly presenting its most ambitious edition to date. With an expanded programme of galleries, talks, performances, workshops, a new all-woman artist posterzine, and the first-ever Young Collectors Hub in the city, the fair sets the stage for powerful artists' voices to be heard loud and clear,” Jaya Ashokan, fair director, said.

While a large section of the grand fair is dominated by contemporary artists, art lovers seem intrigued by ‘Valmiki’s Vision of Sunderkand’, one of MF Husain's last paintings, which is being exhibited at a booth by Crayon Art Gallery.

Right across the Husain painting is American visual artist Andy Warhol’s Mao in silkscreen on paper, presented by Bruno Art Group.

While the DAG boasts of a selection of modernist masters, including Husain, FN Souza, Jamini Roy, and Raja Ravi Varma, Dhoomimal Gallery has on show Krishen Khana’s bronze bandwallahs and works by Satish Gujral, Ram Kumar, SH Raza, and Sakti Burman, among others.

The politically vocal side of art is also featured in the works of artists like Vikrant Bhise and Mayuri Chari who depicted Dr BR Ambedkar and women’s bodies, respectively.

In a readily recognisable hue of blue, Bhise highlights the struggles of the Ambedkarite movement, including the condition of labourers, atrocities against SC/ST communities, the 1997 Ramabai killings and the suicides of Rohith Vemula and Payal Tadavi.

Chari, in her seminal work - ‘I Was Not Created For Pleasure’, looks at how women’s bodies are interpreted in the modern Indian society and tries to reclaim the space hitherto dominated by men.

Touted as the “meeting ground for collectors, curators and art professionals”, the festival is also hosting ‘Align and Disrupt’ talk programmes.

Over the course of three days, the section will see discussions on topics such as “What Are We Causing: Art, Environment & Sustainability”, “Citizen Gallery: Speaking Truth to Power”, “Disability (With)In the Arts: Looking Inward”, and “The Changing World: Technology, Art & Law”.

The fair also features 10 leading cultural festivals, collectives and foundations, including soft sculptures and book projects by Britto Arts Trust (Dhaka); a series of textile panels by Lakshmi Madhavan for Devi Art Foundation (New Delhi); a group show with works by Siwan-based ceramicist Upendra Ram and Chari.

This year’s outdoor art projects include Parag Tandel’s sculptural installation of the seven small islands that constituted Mumbai before it grew into a mega metropolis and an 8-feet tall and twisted fibreglass scale by Shivani Aggarwal to symbolically measure the intangible emotions such as love, joy, intimacy and truth.

Other art projects include a monumental marble dust sculpture resembling a pelvic bone by Prashant Pandey that references the moment of birth, and a curated presentation of Serendipity Arts Foundation’s Food Lab Project.

The art fair will come to a close on February 12.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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