The India Art Summit — which began in Delhi in August 2008 and became the high point of the country’s art calendar — will not take place this year.

Written by Vandana Kalra | Published: February 19, 2010 4:04:40 am

There is no Art Summit this year. It is moved to January for more global participation

The India Art Summit — which began in Delhi in August 2008 and became the high point of the country’s art calendar — will not take place this year. The organisers have decided to move the festival — where you could gawk at Anish Kapoor’s magical steel circle and Ved Gupta’s gigantic dog and a Souza crucifixion — to January 20,2011. Neha Kirpal,associate director of the summit,attributes the change of plans to August being a lean season for art in Europe. She hopes that holding the summit annually in January will increase international participation.

“For the past two years,the fair was more domestic in nature,but we want to focus on increasing participation from the world over,” says Kirpal. “January will be more convenient for international participants. This is a step taken in accordance with the feedback received last year.” In 2009,the fair had just 17 international gallerists of a total of 54.

The India Art Summit — by virtue of it being held in January — can technically kick-start the global art calendar,although it is not significant enough to dictate trends for a year. Otherwise,Arco Madrid comes first,in February,followed by Art Dubai in March,Hong Kong International Art Fair in May,Art Basel in June,Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair in September,Frieze Art Fair in London in October-November and Art

Miami in December. The change of plans in India is being welcomed by gallerists and artists.

Artist Sudarshan Shetty says,“The art season starts in September,so the India Art Summit will be bang in the middle of it. August was kind of off-season.” Renu Modi,director of Gallery Espace,who has been present at the summit for the past two years,agrees: “There is no other fair in January,so that works well for our summit. We look forward to the presence of more gallerists and audience from abroad.”

Sharan Apparao,director of Apparao Galleries,says a late-January weather will be better than a humid August. Last year,the artwork at the outdoor sculpture park had to be hastily covered in plastic sheets during heavy rains. “Also,a lot of international travellers vist India in January,” says Apparao.

Peter Nagy,director of Nature Morte,who is also part of the organising committee of the Summit,however,feels that the number of international participants will only increase gradually. “It will take time for their number to increase,” says Nagy. “But this year,the focus of the city will be on the Commonwealth Games and it makes sense to keep the summit away from all that.” But for a city that was just learning to admire the art in a Kapoor circle,this will be a big letdown.

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