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India Art fair to address contemporary issues in 11th edition


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Gendered violence, caste and class disparity will be among the many pertinent contemporary issues that will take centre-stage at the eleventh edition of the India Art Fair.
The fair that opens to public on Friday, will feature thought provoking presentations and performances by artists like Amol Patil, Manisha Gera Baswani and Bangladeshi artist Tayeba Begum Lipi among others.
While Patil's durational performance 'Take the City' will see the artist lead a procession through the fair venue in order to reflect on class and caste divisions in India, Delhi-based Baswani will be engaging with personal narratives of the partition by senior artists from India and Pakistan.
The sculptural works by Lipi will comment on politics of the female body and gendered violence.
"It's great to see so many of our exhibiting artists using their presentations to tackle urgent contemporary issues...I hope visitors take away something meaningful from the experience," fair director Jagdip Jagpal told PTI.
Jagpal, who took over the reins from fair's co-owner and founding director Neha Kirpal in 2017, said the annual art event will continue its focus on representing South Asian talent.
70 per cent of the 12,000 square metre floor space of the venue in Okhla NSIC grounds here will be dedicated to exhibitors from the region.
"We are committed to representing the strength of the local art scene. Our focus is on the variety and depth of work coming from the subcontinent and we aim to champion all disciplines and styles," she said.
The continued focus on art from South Asia is also evident in IAF's line-up that goes beyond the gallery booths.
The Forum segment of the fair will host the Artist Talk series "What I Did Last Summer", as part of which, some of the biggest names in the industry will share stories of the projects they have been working on over the course of the last year.
Platform, a popular section of the fair that has been a a springboard for emerging art practices and art collectives from South Asia, will welcome back TAF: Tribal Art Forms, Delhi Crafts Council and Blueprint 12 from Delhi, as well as Swaraj Art Archive (Noida) and Britto Art Trust (Dhaka, Bangladesh).
Metta Contemporary (Navi Mumbai) will exhibit at the fair for the first time.
According to Jagpal, the fair's objective has been to showcase the best of modern and contemporary art from South Asia, and this year it will continue to fulfil the aim by bringing works by the likes of Anirudh Mehta, Sajan Mani, Mithu Sen, Pinakin Patel and Ravi Agarwal.
Mehta, more familiar by his social media handle @thebigfatminimalist, is a St+art India and Instagram artist whose designs will be featured on the fair tents.
While Patel's interactive project "Food for Thought" will invite visitors to participate in a shared ritual of painting a rock, Agarwal's "The Desert of the Anthropocene" will see the recreation of an industrialised landscape provoking a reflection on the ecology of urban spaces.
Mani's performative installation "Art Will Never Die, but COW?" and Sen's intervention "100 Silent Ways" in the performance programme are other works to watch out for, Jagpal suggested.
The fair this year will present 75 exhibitors from 24 Indian and international cities.
Participating Indian galleries will include Jhaveri Contemporary, Chemould Prescott Road, Sakshi Gallery and TARQ from Mumbai, Exhibit 320, Nature Morte, Shrine Empire and Anant Art from New Delhi, Hyderabad-based Kalakriti Art , Kolkata-based Experimenter, Bangalore-based GALLERYSKE and Ahmedabad-based ZOCA.
The fair will also continue its strong tradition of presenting important work by leading Modernists. Returning participants will include DAG and Dhoomimal Gallery that will exhibit works by artists including Raja Ravi Varma, Tyeb Mehta, F N Souza, Akbar Padamsee and Ram Kumar.
Returning international galleries include David Zwirner (London, UK/New York, USA/Hong Kong), Blain | Southern (London, UK/Berlin, Germany), Aicon Gallery (New York, USA), Lukas Feichtner Galerie (Vienna, Austria), 1X1 Art Gallery (Dubai, UAE) and Arario Gallery (Cheonan / Seoul / Shanghai).
The fair will also see some first-timers from overseas like neugerriemschneider (Berlin, Germany), and Sokyo Gallery (Kyoto, Japan).
The three-day fair will come to a close on February 3.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 12:55 PM IST

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