The 2017 edition of India Art Fair
closed on Sunday 5th February following a significant turnout of over 90,000 visitors over the duration of the fair. Founded in 2008, the annual fair has grown to become South Asias leading platform for modern and contemporary art and the most significant portal to the cultural offering in the region. India Art Fair 2017 saw participation from a comprehensive range of art world industry luminaries, with 72 exhibitors joined by prestigious collectors from 19 cities across India and 23 countries around the globe, further consolidating the sense of an international focus on the South Asian market.
Neha Kirpal, Founding Director of India Art Fair said: This edition of India Art Fair has been a huge success, with impressive sales and global engagement from more world leading institutions and collectors than ever before. The strong international institutional turnout and number of established, new and young collectors is reflective of the high level of interest in this region. As we approach our ten year anniversary we look forward to an exciting year ahead, nurturing new relationships and developing our global expertise as a part of MCH Groups new Regional Art Fair initiative.
India Art Fair 2017 demonstrated emphatically that confidence in the contemporary art market is high, with over 90% of galleries reporting strong sales results (94% of Indian galleries and 85% of international galleries sold). The prices of the works at India Art Fair ranged from more affordable pieces in the region of $1,000 to major works by artists such as S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, and M.F. Husain, priced upwards of $8 million. Almost 60% of the 72 exhibiting booths made sales to new and international collectors and over 30% were made to collectors under 40. International interest in India Art Fair has never been higher, with strong attendance from directors, curators, patrons and delegations from prestigious museums including The Met, MOMA and the Guggenheim in New York, TATE, the Ashmolean Museum in UK, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, The Singapore Art Museum, M+ in Hong Kong - to name a few, all looking to find new inspiration in a less exposed region.
With a growing base of new collectors from across the subcontinent, India Art Fairs position as a critical point of cultural exchange and a portal into South Asian art continues to be affirmed by its successful Collectors Programme. Conversely, it is increasingly evident that global Indians are broadening their horizons to the international market, with evidence of deeper engagement with the select international galleries present at the fair. Further to this, the 2017 edition has seen the largest number of collectors from Mumbai since the fairs inception.
Building on India Art Fairs ongoing ambition to promote cultural discourse within the region, the Speakers Forum was received with critical engagement and debate reinforcing this platform at the fair as a vital forum for discussion within the region and globally. Notable speakers, sharing an array of engaging themes, included Richard Armstrong (Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museums and Foundation) and Sheena Wagstaff (Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) Boon-Hui Tan (Director, Asia Society Museum), Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi (President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation), and Anurag Khanna (collector), Vir Kotak (Joint Managing Director, JM Baxi Group), Ashiesh Shah (Founder, Principal Ashiesh Shah Architects).
The Art Fair proactively engaged a range of demographics with a strong policy of diversity and inclusion bringing together children from over 32 public schools in Delhi along with underprivileged children and those with special needs through a series of specially curated participatory events and tours.
One popular return to India Art Fair was Platform, providing an opportunity for the best of established and emerging South Asian galleries, artists and artist collectives to exhibit on an established international platform. Dina Bangdel, Curator of Nepal Art Council said "Having India Art Fair's Platform series has been absolutely critical for exposure. For the South Asian artists themselves it is an amazing opportunity. Last year's artists have now gone on to exhibit at numerous biennales and triennales and I think that is really due to India Art Fair and our collaboration with them."
The recognition of India Art Fairs place and significance, as both aggregator and facilitator, driving the Indian and South Asian art market in a global context, was re-affirmed early in 2016 when MCH Group, the owners of the Art Basel fairs, announced their partnership with India Art Fair, in their first commitment to their new Regional Art Fair initiative. The initiative is designed to bring a portfolio of the worlds leading regional fairs together to mutually benefit from shared knowledge, contacts and regional expertise in order to help each fair realise its maximum potential in a global context.
In 2018 India Art Fair will mark its 10th anniversary. With MCH Groups involvement, the fair will progress as a leading face-to-face, and digital platform, supporting galleries and partners with a broader reach throughout the year.
Endorsing the results of the fair, here is what a range of some of the most significant collectors and global art world figures said about this edition of India Art Fair and the fairs future:
Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation said: India Art Fair is irresistible as we have an innate curiosity for what's going on in contemporary India. The museum has taken a great deal of interest in Indian art, particularly over the last 10 years, and I've been hearing a lot about the fair and felt it was important to be here