Galleries weigh in on relevance of an art marketplace

Whether it is to get visible in an art ecosystem, or to showcase cutting-edge contemporary art that define the times we live in, India Art Fair is a hit among art galleries.

As 81 global exhibitors come together in the national capital, a few of the leading ones weigh in on their participation in the ongoing four-day art event.

"The current mood in the Indian art world is very positive. It's the time of the year when art is foremost on everyone's mind, and people are looking forward to the exhibitions that the galleries are putting up and what the fair will have on offer."

"The fair provides a platform to reach a wide audience across geographies. It is also an opportunity to increase exposure with people from diverse backgrounds - be it collectors or people who are starting their engagement with contemporary art," said Roshini Vadehra, Director, Vadehra Art Gallery.

The gallery has been participating in the fair since its inception, and says that there is a sense of scale and vibrancy in the works they exhibit this year be it Atul Dodiya's triptych 'Guernica Bouquet' or Rameshwar Broota's large triptych.

Another gallery exhibiting since the beginning is Art Alive Gallery. Its director Sunaina Anand says it has grown tremendously over the years. "It's a very good concept and there was nothing like this before."

Shireen Gandhy, Director at the Mumbai-based Chemould Prescott Road has an interesting backstory to tell.

"By the early 2000s, Art Fairs took on a new dimension on the world art stage. While the "exhibition stage" for galleries has never been compromised, the art fair took on an equally important dimension. Indian gallery participation in fairs like Art Dubai, Fiac, Frieze and later Art Basel was a kind of a 'late entry'. Neha Kirpal who started India Art Fair - saw the void, and Indian galleries after a year of watching the first edition of this fair took the plunge in 2009."

They did not look back! "It is that platform that allows us to 'show ourselves up' with the rigour of our programme and our artists. It has become a stage where important museum curators and patrons visit. It is a place where transactions happen not only with these international audiences and our Indian collectors, but also with Tier-2 cities. Isn't the purpose of art to also be able to spread one's wings? What better way than a fair like ours to achieve that?"

Ashish Anand, CEO & MD of DAG finds India Art Fair relevant and important not only for galleries but for the art space in general.

"People from all over the world – a range of people, from connoisseurs and collectors to artists and art historians, to those beginning their journey of understanding and enjoying art – come to attend the fair, highlighting its importance in showcasing South Asian art to large and diverse audiences."

DAG has handpicked a collection of modern art and pays an ode to the most exquisite artworks of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Among the international galleries, Eun Kyung Sung, Director of South Korea-based Simyo gallery, cites their participation in "India's most well-known fair" due to the huge potential of Indian market and the experience of high standard of Indian clients appreciating Korean art".

The 12th edition of India Art Fair is going on at NSIC Grounds here till Sunday.

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