In its 10th edition, the India Art Fair brings contemporary artists and masters yet again within its fold at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in the Capital. The annual art extravaganza offers a peak into the ever dynamic arts scene not only from within the country, but even neighbouring states and glimpses of artists from around the world. The four-day event, which ends on February 12, has brought together galleries and artists, private foundations and arts charities, artists’ collectives, national institutions, cultural events and festivals by means of walks, seminars and artist interactions.
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While there is much to see and experience this year, from Dayanita Singh’s experiment with enamel paint on digital photograph, in Ash Grey, on display at the Nature Morte booth to David Zwirner’s showcase of canvases and an installation by Japanese avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, if you’re strapped for time and would still like to make sure you see the highlights from the fair, here are some works you definitely should not miss.
1. Timothy Hyunsoo Lee, 1000 Attempts At A Reconciliation
The Korean-American artist has transferred one thousand sheets of 24 karat gold leaf onto a painted blue surface based on a childhood fable of the 1,000 cranes, which claims that folding 1,000 paper cranes allows an individual to realise one wish.
2. Shilpa Gupta, Shadow 3
In the interactive video projection Shadow 3 the viewer becomes “an active participant of the unfolding narrative where fragments of an aftermath, from an environment under rampage, begin to re-enter our lives”.
3. Riyas Komu, Holy Shiver
The prints in woodcut are centred around the Indian Constitution. Komu draws from public memory and violent acts that the country has witnessed.
4. Shilo Shiv Suleman’s wall work at Art Musings
Defined by magic realism, this wall work by Suleman comments on gender issues, including a panel where the Bangalore-based artist writes, “I am a woman and I never learnt how to make a first move”.
5. Reena Saini Kallat, Verso-Recto-Recto-Verso
Kallat’s dyed silk work revisits the adaptation of the Indian Constitution that promised its citizens a nation where justice, liberty, equality and fraternity would prevail.
6. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, The Sher-Gil Archives
See photographs of a young Amrita Sher-Gil with her sister Indira as well as their father Umrao Singh Sher-Gil. The photographs from the family album are also a reflection of their times.
7. Sudipta Das, A Soaring To Nowhere
Hanging from the roof, Sudipta Das’ figurines depicts the displacement of refugees, urging viewers to ponder about land and people.
8. Yayoi Kusama
David Zwirner is showcasing canvases and an installation by Japanese avant garde artist Yayoi Kusama.
9. Sachin Bonde, Sounds Good
The 10 sculptures of ears on the wall have brass weighing scales, etched with currency symbols and maps, hanging below. The work stresses on the need to stop creating an imbalance in nature.
10. The Collection Bureau by Pollinator, a collective formed by Jiten Thukral, Sumir Tagra and Prayas Abhinav
This explores new methods of collecting art. Starting February 3, Pollinator has sent out an open call to all creative people — painters, sculptors, singers, musicians, writers, students and so on, to submit an image of their artwork. Selected entries will be invited to present that work at the IAF.
11. Zoya Siddiqui, Loop
Exploring video and the concept of space this work creates an illusion of a contained world where a recorded performance loops non-stop.
12. Nine Gems at Delhi Art Gallery
The gallery is presenting works by nine artists honoured with the title of National Treasure by the Indian government in the 1970s – the highlights include doodles found in his manuscript pages of Rabindranath Tagore, a rare Plaster of Paris sculpture by Amrita Sher-Gil, and postcards and paintings by Nandalal Bose.
13. Kingsley Gunatilake, Bullet Book
Sri Lankan artist Kingsley Gunatilake’s books at Blueprint 12 booth are tattered, with figurines jutting out.
14. Khalil Chishtee, This is Not My Religion
The figurative sculptor from Lahore has the body of a sword carved in calligraphy to address issues of inequality and contesting ideologies in modern-day Pakistan.