NEW DELHI: The India Art Fair, one of the biggest in modern and contemporary Indian art, begins its seventh edition here with a host of new initiatives and events.
With a public opening on January 30, the four-day event that ends on February 1, and that attracts artists, curators, gallery owners, collectors, museum directors and art enthusiasts from across the world, has this year drawn 85 galleries in 90 booths showing 3,500 artworks spanning genres.
Writer and curator Girish Shahane has been appointed as Artistic Director, the first time the Fair has done so since its inception in the year 2008, when it was known as the India Art Summit.
Shahane has curated a series of artistic projects integrated this year into the 'Speakers' Forum,' which brings a diverse range of industry speakers every edition of the fair.
The forum features 10 separate sessions that are spread out January 30 to February 1. Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director of 'documenta', the world’s largest and most prestigious contemporary art exhibition and Venu Vasudevan, Director General, National Museum, Delhi are among the speakers Artists Rashid Rana, T V Santhosh, Jitish Kallat are also among the 44 speakers.
Shahane picks large-scale installations, site-specific sculptures and multi-media installations by key artists for the 'Art Projects' section. Some of the works like that of French artist Daniel Buren been custom-built for the Fair.
Buren has created a massive installation work, specially designed for the art fair facade. Artist Atul Bhalla has created a walk-through maze of turnstiles, an interactive work, while Chitra Ganesh and Dhruvi Acharya are set to start work on a blank canvas and over the period of four days create a collaborative painting on site, giving visitors an insight into the processes contemporary artists employ in their work.
A transient installation by Lahore-based artist Muhammad Zeeshan "On Indefiniteness" has been curated by Sahane with a special performance by Shweta Bhattad.
Another art project is a tent installation by Italian painter Francesco Clemente, who has for the past 40 years been collaborating with a range of Indian artisans in Chennai, Orissa, Varanasi and Jodhpur creating his series of tents using techniques such as embroidery, block printing and his own paintings.