next edition of the India Art Fair


An upcoming a(f)fair with art & The Creativists

Tags: Knowledge
An upcoming a(f)fair with art & The Creativists

This week the most important bit of art news is about the eagerly-awaited, next edition of the India Art Fair. Scheduled to take place at the NSIC Grounds at Okhla, New Delhi, the fair will be held between January 28 and 31, 2016. Since the first tentative steps taken by founding director Neha Kirpal in 2008, this annual art fair has grown by leaps and bounds both in content and footfalls and is undoubtedly the premier destination for art in the region. Needless to say, we can expect that this year’s fair will bring in even more participants and viewers – from all over India and across the globe.

While details of the final programme will only be announced in October, we have information about the main structure of the fair. This year, the fair will feature five main sections – Galleries: will comprise of leading Indian and international art galleries; Focus: will feature solo presentations, curated by participating galleries; Institutional: will showcase leading Indian and international museums and art foundations; Platform: is where emerging artists or collectives from South Asia will be presented, by galleries and foundations within the region; and Projects: a section reserved for large scale sculptures and site specific installations. Those familiar with earlier editions of the art fair, will agree that this year’s fair structure appears to be the most ambitious so far. Watch this column for more news on the India Art Fair 2016.

Titled The Creativists, this rather special group exhibition curated by Umesh, was on show only for five days at the capital’s Visual Art Gallery and may have been missed by many. This is a great pity as it included the works of stalwarts such as Shobha Broota, Jagdish Chander, Kalicharan Gupta, Jagadish Dey, Niren Sen Gupta, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Jiten Hazarika and sculptor Apte – combination of varied styles, lovingly created by each artist in his or her individual style.

We now shift our focus to some interesting international news on the discovery of paintings by leading artists. Of late, news about the discovery of such work, seem to have been hogging the limelight in the media. Strictly speaking The three self-portraits by renowned British artist Francis Bacon, should not be part of this category, since they had already been seen in print earlier. However since no one knew where they were, they are being seen as ‘rediscovered’. No details were forthcoming, when they suddenly appeared and were put up for sale by Sotheby’s for £30 million. It may be recollected that earlier, Bacon’s painting of his friend and fellow artist Lucian Freud was sold for a record $142 million (£89 million), becoming the most expensive piece of art ever sold at an auction.

But a true discovery is the exciting story of Texas based Ray Riley, who bought a painting for $90 from a thrift shop in Houston, Texas. The painting had been on display for 104 days when Riley, a regular visitor, decided to buy it. After taking it home, he took it out of its frame and saw the letters p-o-l-k-e, written behind the painting. He became very nervous as it appeared to be the work of Sigmar Polke, a German painter known for his use of different art materials and techniques, for creations that verge on the styles of American pop art. Riley was so nervous that he hid the painting for quite a few weeks. While doing a research on the artist’s work, he came across the news about a Sigmar Polke painting that had been auctioned in June this year for $27 million. An appraiser, whom he then contacted, was of the opinion that if proved authentic, the painting might easily sell for anything between $2million to $7million. Ray Riley is now keeping his fingers crossed.

(The writer is an author and

a former art gallery owner)