The India Art Fair, which in its eighth edition was a tightly curated affair, with major focus on art from South Asia and participation by around 70 galleries from across the world, drew to a close here today.
For city-based Dhoomimal Gallery, one of the oldest art galleries in the country, which has been participating in the fair ever since it began in 2008, the event served more as a platform to project their works.
This time it showcased over 30 works by Indian greats such as Anjolie Ela Menon besides masters like S H Raza, Jamini Roy, Souza among others.
"We sold a lot of works over the past four days. However, we we don't see the fair as a platform to buy and sell alone but more as a platform to project our works," Amrita Ghosh, a researcher manning the gallery's booth at IAF said.
Roshni Vadehra from Vadehra Art Gallery said "The fair has been great."
"We have shown fresh works by the artists that we represent. Artists like Atul and Anju Dodiya, Ghulam Sheikh and Shilpa Gupta had made new works just before the exhibition. So both contemporary and old artists have done really well," she said.
Representatives at Bengaluru and Delhi based GallerySKE talked about a "fantastic response"
"We sold nearly 70 per cent of the works we had brought. There was a lot interest in the work by Navin Thomas besides which have sold works by better known artists like Bharti Kher and Sudarshan Shetty," she said.
Other artists displayed by the gallery included Abir Karmakar, Avinash Veeraraghavan and David Alesworth.
A representative at the Chemould Prescott gallery seemed to opine differently "There have been potential interests and we have made new contacts but it is mostly the general public that is visiting. I think it should be understood that the purpose is to sell and when we have the top most artists exhibited and they receive no appreciation, it feels that there is something out of order."
The Mumbai-based gallery owned by Shireen Gandhy, sported latest works by Hema Upadhyay, the artist who was found dead last year, Desmond Lazario, Gigi Scaria, Atul Dodiya, Jitish Kalat besides a few sculptures by Ritesh Meshram.
On the innagural day of the Fair, on January 28 several galleries were sporting the Red Dot signs, signifying sold works. Art Houz gallery from Chennai sold a work by Vijay Pichumani.
Harry Hutchison of New York based Aicon gallery, which has participated in previous editions of the fair called it "a great experience."
"We have sold quite a lot of paintings particularly by artists like G R Irana, Salman Toor, Adeel Uz Zafar, Adeela Suleman and Natvar Bhavsar." The booth also had a painting each by M F Husain and Raza.
Refusing to quote figures, a representative from
Kolkata-based Experimenter Gallery said they managed to sell almost all their works.
"Julie Segard and Ayesha Sultana have been popular in particular," she said adding that the gallery had showcased works by 8 artists including Rathin Barman, Bani Abidi, Prabhakar Pachpute and Adip Dutta.
Rasika Kajaria, director, Delhi based Exhibit 320 which has been a regular at the Fair said they sold works by artists Sonakshi Singh and Sunoj D.
Kajoli Khanna from Grosvernor Gallery from London, which is participating for the sixth year claimed the response, "was not to bad" and that the "experience has been pretty much the same." with bookings recieved for all works by Olivia Fraser and five works of Senaka Senanayake.
Shefali Somani, Director, Shrine Empire Gallery said the response to the Fair has been definitely better that the last edition. "We have sold some works of Neerja Kothari and Samanta Batra Mehta. Although we did not sell any of Tayeba begum's works but they have been received really well."
Under its new International Director Zain Masud the IAF brought together programmes and collaborations, especially commissioned for the Fair by a number of international and national museums and foundations.
The participants include the Delfina Foundation, Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Jindal Art Centre and the Korean Cultural Centre of India.
A new programme 'Platform' represented young emerging artists, key art-spaces and collectives. Participants include Blueprint 12 (India) Nepal Art Council (Nepal), Theertha Artists Collective (Sri Lanka), Taser Art Gallery (Pakistan) and Swaraj Art Archive (India).
Delhi Art Gallery, showcased hundreds of masterpieces from Indian Modern art in two specially designed spaces set apart at the Fair in what is billed as a survey of Indian Modern art. It also had a separate section 'Abhas' with tactile experiences in braille for the visually challenged.
For the first time the IAF showcased 'Moving Image Art' focussing on film as art where cutting edge film and video art curated by Shai Heredia, Director of Experimenta, India's international festival for moving image art.
One of the major head turners at event was a colourfully gorgeous Art Car by BMW, which was an official partner.