Mylene Ferrand, director of Galleria Continua, was one of the first international gallerists to sign up for the India Art Fair four years ago. Now, in its seventh edition, she continues to be part of it, unlike several other counterparts who have backed out over the years.
“It’s perhaps because of poor sales. Right now, it does not make sense for a gallery representing international artists to come to India,” Ferrand said, minutes before the doors opened for a private preview of the fair on Thursday evening.
The four-day fair at NSIC Grounds in Okhla has under its roof 85 galleries from 67 cities and over 3,000 artworks on display. The number of galleries from the West has dwindled.
“It reflects the global trend. Fairs in every region are now focussing on specific offerings and we too are looking at the subcontinent,” Neha Kirpal, founder director of the fair, said.
The 2015 edition, therefore, has larger representation from the neighbourhood, with artists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
There is also more participation from two-tier cities, with galleries from Chandigarh, Vadodara, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad.
Even though some of the international biggies expected — including Adam Szymczyk, artistic director of Documenta 14, and Italian artist Francesco Clemente — failed to turn up, the opening day reported promising sales and saw full attendance from the domestic circuit.
Walking down the aisles were artists Krishen Khanna, S H Raza in a wheelchair, Anjolie Ela Menon, Sakti Burman, Shilpa Gupta, Dayanita Singh, Jitish Kallat and wife Reena Saini Kallat and Riyas Komu among others.