India Art Fair announces exhibiting galleries
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India Art Fair announces exhibiting galleries
T. Venkanna, Kismet, 2022. Pencil and hand embroidery on linen. Courtesy of Gallery Maskara

NEW DELHI.- India Art Fair, the leading platform showcasing modern and contemporary art from India and South Asia, takes place from 9 – 12 February 2023 at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in New Delhi. Led in partnership with BMW India and with artists’ voices at its centre, the fair will present 86 exhibitors, including 72 galleries and 12 institutions. With India’s latest growth to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the expansion of its art market has grown in parallel with India Art Fair at its helm. Building on the success of the last edition, the 2023 fair will be the most ambitious to date, with expanded floorspace to showcase South Asia’s greatest talent, spanning cutting-edge contemporary art and modern masters, and a new Studio presenting the fair's Digital Artist in Residence programme. The fair will be a meeting ground for collectors, curators and art professionals, strengthening cultural dialogue and ties with the international art scene.

Jaya Asokan, Fair Director of India Art Fair comments “The scale and diversity of the fair in 2023 reflects the expansion of the contemporary and modern art market across India and South Asia, as well as burgeoning interest from the international community. We’re particularly proud of all of our artists who are testing the boundaries of contemporary and traditional arts or digital innovation, with many coming from previously unexplored regions of India. We’re proud of the quality of work they’re producing and powerfully responding to our changing times.”

India Art Fair 2023 is set to include some of India’s most important contemporary art galleries presenting established names and promising young talents.

Top Indian contemporary galleries exhibiting include Vadehra Art Gallery, Gallery Espace, PHOTOINK, GALLERYSKE, Nature Morte, Blueprint12 (all New Delhi), Chatterjee & Lal, Jhaveri Contemporary, Chemould Prescott Road, GALLERY MASKARA, Galerie Isa, Project 88 (all Mumbai), EMAMI ART, Gallery Art Exposure (both Kolkata), Experimenter (Kolkata / Mumbai), Vida Heydari Contemporary (Pune), Apparao Galleries, Gallery Veda (both from Chennai), Gallery WHITE (Vadodara), Archer Art Gallery, ZOCA (both from Ahmedabad), Anant Art (NOIDA / New Delhi) and Kalakriti Art Gallery (Hyderabad), each of them from across India and beyond the traditional centres of New Delhi and Mumbai. Alongside these are modern master galleries, DAG (New Delhi / Mumbai / New York), Crayon Art Gallery and Dhoomimal Gallery (both New Delhi), showing iconic masterpieces.

New gallery participants presenting emerging and mid-career artists include: 079 | STORIES ART GALLERY (Ahmedabad), Treasure Art Gallery (New Delhi), Gallery Dotwalk (Gurugram), Dhi Artspace (Hyderabad), Chemould CoLab (Mumbai), Iram Art (Ahmedabad).

Showcasing solo presentations curated by participating galleries, this year the Focus section will put a strong emphasis on painters from distinguished names such as Jayashree Chakravarty (Akar Prakar, Kolkata / New Delhi), Avijit Dutta (Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad) and Waswo X. Waswo (Gallery Espace, New Delhi), rising mid-career artists, Anni Kumari (Treasure Art Gallery, New Delhi) to emerging artists Viraj Khanna (Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai) and Digbijayee Khatua (Anant Art, NOIDA / New Delhi).

The Platform section will showcase the rich artistic traditions of India through the works of contemporary masters of traditional arts, from Warli (Vayeda brothers), Gond (Dhavat Singh), Madhubani (A.K. Jha and Padma Shri Baua Devi), Pattachitra (Prakash Chandra), Kalamkari art (S. Srinivas Rao), Bhil traditions (Padma Shri awardee Bhuri Bai) and Chamba Rumal (Charu Centre run by DCC) amongst others.

Highlights of international galleries participating include: Galleria Continua who will present works by Anish Kapoor, JR and Michelangelo Pistoletto; 1X1 Art Gallery will bring Rina Banerjee and Bahk Seon Ghi; Marc Straus will feature Anne Samat; Bruno Art Group will present Andy Warhol; Saskia Fernando Gallery will show internationally-renowned South Asian artists Jagath Weerasinghe and Chandraguptha Thenuwara; Grosvenor Gallery will shine a spotlight on Senaka Senanayake; and finally Aicon will include Rasheed Araeen and Victor Ekpuk within its booth presentation.

Inviting audiences to explore and experience the power of digital art, The Studio will house an arresting selection of tech-meets-art projects and installations. This will include a dedicated Digital Residency Hub showcasing artworks made by the three India Art Fair Digital Artists in Residence, all made on iPad Pro and in response to the theme ‘Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’. Visual artist and illustrator, Mira Felicia Malhotra will highlight the oddities and idiosyncrasies of Indian family life in vibrant portraits of women titled ‘Loag Kya Kahenge’; artist, poet and writer Gaurav Ogale will invite audiences to explore the extraordinary biographies of ordinary people through an audio-visual book anthology series ‘Bestsellers’; and multidisciplinary artist Varun Desai will create an immersive projection room giving a glimpse of the future, one that fuses artificial intelligence and human consciousness. With an aim to widen participation, Today at Apple will offer hands-on sessions led by Creative Pros focusing on digital art skills on iPad Pro to unlock new styles and techniques to push attendees' creative expression. The Studio will also host special digital projects supported by the Serendipity Arts and The Gujral Foundation with video and tech-inspired artworks presented by contemporary artists Sudarshan Shetty and Raghava K.K respectively, along with digital animations and drawings by Shrimanti Saha in an interactive public project supported by Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art.

Marking seven years of partnership, India Art Fair and BMW India continue to foster a spirit of collaboration and provide a breeding ground for creativity, including a special commission entitled The Future is Born of Art, which will be awarded to an Indian artist to design a BMW car wrap. Shortlisted artists for this commission, which promises to boost emerging Indian names to a global stage, include Aditi Aggarwal, Devika Sundar, Rithika Pandey and Sajid Wajid Shaikh who are each responding to the theme 'Forwardism' and presenting a vision of what they believe the future will look like. Fair audiences can vote online for the winner on India Art Fair’s website and Instagram channel.

Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India comments, “BMW Group’s social sustainability commitment has always valued and nurtured various cultural engagements and co-operations globally and in India. Our resolve to strengthen intercultural platforms of creativity in the fields of art, music, design and architecture has flourished into long term partnerships with leading art and cultural platforms in the country. BMW India is delighted to present the latest edition of the India Art Fair and the Future is Born of Art commission for connoisseurs for art and automobiles.”

The fair champions a multiplicity of artistic practices and diverse voices through its Artists-in- Residence programme. Debashish Paul will present a performance art piece, which details how art helps him uncover the nuances of his queer identity. The Vayeda brothers will transform the fair’s facade into a Forest of the Future, celebrating their community and ancestors with deep research into Warli traditions, mythological stories and rituals, and a translation of this knowledge to paintings that speak to the now. Conceptual artist Lakshmi Madhavan will revisit the dying kasavu textile tradition of Kerala to act as a thread connecting the past to the future in a newly commissioned gold-and-white textile installation.

This year’s Outdoor Art Projects at the fair will include: Parag Tandel’s thought-provoking sculptural installation of the seven small islands that constituted Mumbai before it grew into the mega metropolis that it is today, supported by TARQ, Mumbai; a surreal 8-feet tall and twisted fibreglass scale by Shivani Aggarwal inviting audiences to measure the intangible such as emotions of love, joy, intimacy and truth, supported by Studio Art, New Delhi; a monumental marble dust sculpture resembling a pelvic bone by Prashant Pandey that references the marvellous moment of the birth of life supported by GALLERY MASKARA, Mumbai; Sonia Khurana’s immersive performance installation supported by Kiran Nadar Museum of Art; a curated presentation of Serendipity Arts’ Food Lab Project; and a large- scale computational art project supported by Tezos India.

India Art Fair will publish an all-women led poster zine titled Fire in the Belly for the 2023 edition championing the voices of eight artists and creative powerhouses, including Anikesa Dhing, Aravani Art Project, Aqui Thami, Dhruvi Acharya, Meena Kandasamy, Rithika Pandey, Shilpa Gupta and Zeenat Kulavoor, each sharing their dreams, hopes, prayers and wisdom for an equal world. From pain, pleasure, and mental health to sexuality, the caste system and the body, each poster page will be a blazing response to the theme ‘Fire in the Belly’, encouraging readers to participate in creating a new world order based on feminist optimism and the power of small actions in introducing lasting change.

Over 10 leading cultural festivals, collectives and foundations will showcase at the celebrated Institutions section, 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 never-before-seen painting by Raqib Shaw for Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (New Delhi / NOIDA); and a group show with works by Siwan-based ceramicist Upendra Ram and Goa-based feminist conceptual artist Mayuri Chari, debuting at the fair for Art & Soul Foundation (Mumbai). Other participants under the section include Museo Camera (Gurugram), Kochi Biennale Foundation (Kochi) and the Purushottam Public Trust (Vadodara) amongst others.

With creativity at the heart of its partnerships, the fair will welcome leading design house, Vikram Goyal Studio / Viya Home who will feature a display of collectible objects and sculptural pieces at the confluence of art, craft and design; RADO will launch its classic DiaStar watch redesigned by Swiss designer Alfredo Haberli for its 60th anniversary, Art Buzz will support a dedicated Workshop Space for artist-led sessions and young collectors masterclasses; DS Group and Kolkata Centre for Creativity will support the fair’s sustainability and inclusivity efforts respectively; and India Sotheby’s International Realty.

Curated by Shaleen Wadhwana, the talks programme taking place in the fair’s Auditorium will dive deep into conversations surrounding the arts, inviting leading artists and arts professionals to align on critical subjects, and collectively shape the future for an inclusive art scene. Highlights include What Are We Causing: Ecology, Environment & Climate, a session that brings together eco artists Sharbendu De, Dharmendra Prasad and Rida Gatphoh; Decolonisation & The Arts: Looking at Art Historical Blind Spots which will challenge and raise important questions around representation; and Changing Formats of Art Making: Tech, Art and Law, a session dedicated to understanding the fast-changing art ecosystem through a legal lens. India Art Fair’s Digital Artists in Residence, Gaurav Ogale, Mira Felicia Malhotra and Varun Desai will also lead interactive sessions curated by Today at Apple, giving audiences an opportunity to step into their vast creative universes, while creating digital artworks of their own using iPad Pro

Running through the India Art Fair month, the IAF Parallel programme provides a unique multi-layered experience for visitors to celebrate the art scene of New Delhi. This year, the programme will feature powerful women-led exhibitions including Arpita Singh and the late great Indian abstractionist Nasreen Mohamedi at Vadehra Art Gallery, Chitra Ganesh at Gallery Espace, Sumakshi Singh at Exhibit 320 and a group show of 20+ women artists from the Baroda School presented by Anant Art at Bikaner House, along with exciting showcases by Thukral & Tagra at Nature Morte, Debasish Mukherjee at Akar Prakar and Karan Shrestha at Shrine Empire. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art will show Pop South Asia, one of the first major exhibitions of modern and contemporary South Asia engaging with popular culture, The Gujral Foundation will exhibit new photographs by Bharat Sikka whose works often focus on the cultural residues and societal transformations within India, and Devi Art Foundation will present Vayan – Art of Indian Brocades, an exhibition of silk brocades from prominent Indian handloom centres at the National Crafts Museum. On top of this, there will be alternate art spaces including feminist pop illustrations by Osheen Shiva at Pulp Society as well as animations and kinetic installations by Pors & Rao at Khoj International Artists Collective.

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