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Fair Start

After two years of being held in August,the organisers of India Art Summit decided to shift the annual event to January leading to a no show in 2010.

Written by Vandana Kalra |
May 30, 2010 11:03:49 pm

In the absence of the India Art Summit,get ready for an India International Art Fair in September

After two years of being held in August,the organisers of India Art Summit decided to shift the annual event to January leading to a no show in 2010. But the Capital’s art circles will not be deprived of an art extravaganza in this calender year. Another art event,the India International Art Fair,will make its debut in autumn. Interestingly,it was the postponement of the Summit that led to the plans for the art fair.

“The success of the Summit proved that there is a scope for a major art show. Since there was no other art event this year,we felt the gap needed to be filled. With the Summit in January,we decided to schedule our annual fair in September,” says Jaswinder Singh,owner of Delhi-based Mystiq Art Gallery,who is in charge of bookings for the production house Humree and Company that is organising the fair.

The four-day fair,that will begin on September 9,will be held at Hall No 14 of Pragati Maidan. With three months to go,Singh is busy in his Defence Colony office,sifting through details of galleries that have shown an interest in the fair. “We have received 20 applications from galleries based in Delhi,Mumbai and Bangalore,” says Singh,adding that invitations have been sent to galleries the world over,including Dubai,Singapore and the UK. “The Fair is being promoted as an event that celebrates art,” he adds. Singh is,however,tightlipped about the names of galleries that have been shortlisted for the Fair.

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The Fair,he adds,will stretch over a total floor area of 5,490 sq meters and,like the Summit,will have prominent space reserved for stalls. Unlike the Summit,where only galleries exhibit,artists too will be allowed to book space at the Fair. “The intention is to cater to a fringe segment. Many artists in India do not get exposure because they do not find a gallery to represent them,” says artist Alka Raghuvanshi,who is one of the curators of the fair along with art critics Prayag Shukla,Suneet Chopra and Keshav Malik. Singh reveals that more than 30 artists have already booked space. This includes Delhi-based artist couple Gogi Saroj Pal and Ved Nair. While the former will showcase acrylics from her new series ‘It is Raining Outside’,the latter will display his gouache on paper. “We felt it was a good way to interact directly with the audience,” says Nair.

While Singh is finalising a panel of artists that would discuss art concerns and related aspects with the audience,a video lounge will be used to screen movies on the lives and works of artists like Manjit Bawa,Jatin Das,Shanti Dave,GR Iranna,Shobha Broota,Shridhar Iyer and Arpana Caur. “We’ll get some artists to speak after the screenings,” adds Singh.

The Fair is being planned as an annual event,raising the question of whether Delhi can sustain two art fairs in a year? “The scale of the event would matter,” says Tunty Chauhan,director of Gallery Threshold. Parul Vadehra,director,Vadehra Art Gallery,adds,“Any other fair will have to create a niche for itself,different from the Summit which has been on for two years.”

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