The India Art Fair (IAF) has been a regular fixture on the calendars of artists and art lovers alike. But this time, the event is all the more special, for it is returning after a two-year Covid-induced hiatus. The art event, in its 13th edition, will treat visitors to a showcase that features works of 77 Indian and international exhibitors, albeit with care and caution.
“The biggest canvas at the fair and in Delhi, the fair facade, will be a major standout, and has been created by young artist Anshuka Mahapatra using the colours of summer and phrases in seven Indian languages to express the beauty of every day… We’ll also have a number of outdoor projects, including a 50-feet high mural by the transartist collective Aravani Art Project, titled The Future is Femme, imaging a binary-free world,” says fair director Jaya Asokan.
Artist Manisha Gera Baswani, who is exhibiting a pin drawing, Conference of Thoughts at the Gallery Espace booth, says, “The idea came from the space of healing and repair. I was the caregiver for a family member, that’s where I got the idea of pins piercing paper from.”
The 2022 edition of the fair will not only have talks by NFT experts in its auditorium for the first time, but will also see seven Indian galleries and many artists debuting. A 30-work retrospective on view by Ojas Art will make Mithila artist Santosh Kumar Das one of the debuting artists. “It’s exciting for artists to debut at the fair and have their work introduced widely,” he says.
“The fair is key to supporting India’s gallery ecosystem. It serves many roles, including engaging new collectors, giving much-needed exposure to the contemporary and modern art scene in India,” notes Amal Allana, director of Art Heritage Gallery that is hosting Sunanda Khajuria’s solo show I Have Lost Me: Birds of Passage — one of the many simultaneous and supporting IAF parallel exhibitions going on in the city.
Myna Mukherjee, who has curated an IAF parallel exhibition during the art fair, explains, “The show, Vita Nova brings together artists from Italy and India who are inspired by Dante’s literature and the notion of transformations, magic and metaphor and manifestations of the new. At the same time it reflects the blurring of boundaries between contemporary craft, conceptual art and artisanal design. All six artists, Andrea Anastasio, Francesco Simeti, Marta Roberti, Puneet Kaushik, Raghava KK, and Shilo Shiv Suleman blur several distinctions as they work with a range of ‘handmade’ techniques from wood cuts, block prints, embroidery, tapestry, metal forging, blue pottery, miniatures, bidri, ceramics, clay and even cardboard making.”
Sharing that it’s nice to be back with a physical outreach initiative after a “long time”, Smriti Rajgarhia, director, Serendipity Arts Foundation and Festival, says that there will be a showcase of hybrid projects that exhibit the research and other publications that were commissioned through the pandemic. On view would be exhibits by Team Suno, the mother-son duo Pritish and Anu Bali, Transmitter: Darwin x Delhi, and Serendipity Arts Residency Food Lab.
Catch It Live
What: India Art Fair
Where: NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla
When: April 30 to May 1
Timing: April 30 (Noon to 7pm ) and May 1 (10am to 6pm)
Nearest Metro Station: Okhla NSIC on the Magenta Line and Govindpuri on the Violet Line
Author tweets @siddhijainn