India’s thriving art scene is one that attracts collectors from the world over. And the annual India Art Fair, held in the capital city of New Delhi, gives you insider access to the country’s cultural milieu, particularly South Asian modern and contemporary art. The 11th edition, from 31 January 2019 to 3 February 2019, presents a curation of 75 exhibitors from 24 (Indian and international) cities. With the participation of galleries, artists, private foundations, artists’ collectives and national institutions alike, there is a lot to take in whether you’re a connoisseur or a novice. So we roped in Fair Director Jagdip Jagpal to handpick top five must-sees at this season.
“Our maiden exhibiting galleries will be a definite draw for visitors. There is Neugerriemschneider gallery from Berlin, Germany that is bringing Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to the fair. Sokyo Gallery from Kyoto, Japan is part of the fair for the first time too.
British artist Idris Khan’s works will be showcased by Galerie Isa, and Khan himself will be part of a talk on his recent commission at the British Museum — 21 Stones, an installation of twenty one unique paintings that is the first site-specific work for the new Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World in London.
As for returning galleries, Chatterjee & Lal from Mumbai, DAG from New Delhi and David Zwirner Gallery, from New York are just a few of my favourites.”
Art Projects, installations and talks
“Birmingham-born, Glasgow-based Hardeep Pandhal is an exciting emergin British-Sikh artist whose work (ranging from drawings and knitwear to videos and installations) is a dark yet funny take on issues such as racism and gender. Jhaveri Contemporary, one of the most forward-thinking galleries in the country, recently picked him up. Hardeep will be part of a talk called What I Did Last Summer at IAF’s Forum space.
There’s also the Art Projects tent with larger-scale, more ambitious projects by artists such as interactive installations, sculptures and video. We have 12 projects this year, such as sound installation Change Room by self-taught artist Baaraan Ijlal and Postcards from Home series by Manisha Gera Baswani, which details accounts from artists affected by Partition.
“This is the first year we’re including live performances in the fair programme. As a relatively young medium of artistic expression, we felt the need to celebrate it. We’re kick starting the endeavour with pieces by four leading performance artists—Sajan Mani who addresses political struggles and ecological issues affecting the backwaters of his native land of Kerala; Bangladeshi artist Yasmin Jahan Nupur who is known to engage with women and migrants deprived of social benefits with her work; New Delhi-based Mithu Sen whose work is best-known for its fantastical quality; and Amol Patil who aims to recapture the vibrating movement and sound of the chawl (Indian housing units for working-class families) he grew up in.”
“We have a slew of off-site events being hosted by galleries, museums and arts spaces across New Delhi as well. My top picks are Bharti Kher’s solo exhibition at Bikaner House, Arpita Singh’s retrospective at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, and an exhibition dedicated to Upendra Maharathi at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). You can also sign up for exhibition walkthroughs in Lado Sarai, a contemporary arts hub in South Delhi.”
Hockney’s BMW Art Car
“The BMW Art Car initiative was launched in 1975 where prominent artists were invited to create Art Cars on the basis of their creative interpretation of contemporary BMW models of their times. This year, IAF will showcase the 14th BMW Art Car by David Hockney, a BMW 850 Csi, created in 1995. It is one of the best art cars ever designed as Hockney turned the car inside out, showing the mechanisms and interiors of the car on its body.