Contemporary art gets fair share in Paris and Mumbai

This week we bring you news about a major art fair in Paris and also an upcoming art fair in Mumbai. The attempt is not to illustrate the vast difference between the two fairs, but to present them as they are being held in respective cities. FIAC is France’s biggest Art Fair and its 39th edition concluded in Paris two weeks ago. This annual event held between October 18 and 21, is traditionally held at the Grand Palais in the French capital. In this year’s edition, it brought together 182 contemporary art galleries from 25 countries, including 62 galleries from France. There were also 30 galleries from the US and 24 from Germany and other countries such as Belgium, Italy, Britain and Switzerland. Denmark, Poland, Romania and the UAE joined the prestigious art fair for the first time in FIAC’s history.

In 2011, FIAC had attracted more than 68,000 visitors and this year, the numbers were even more. The fair traditionally features awards that are given out to talented artists during the event. The event’s most coveted prizes include the Lafayette 2012 award, the Marcel Duchamp award organised jointly by ADIAF and the Centre George Pompidou. The four pre-selected artists for the Marcel Duchamp 2012 award projects were Valérie Favre, Daniel Dewar & Gregory Gicquel, Bertrand Lamarche and Franck Scurti.

We now turn to the undoubtedly vibrant art scene in Mumbai, which is all set to become more exciting with the second edition of the India Art Festival. The event showcases 45 art galleries and 1,000 individual artists from 50 cities across the world, at a five-day art festival that opens in Mumbai on November 28. After the grand success of first edition of the fair last year at Nehru Centre, the second edition is happening this year at the MMRDA grounds at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. The fair will have temporary structures consisting of 150 booths for art galleries and artists, a large outdoor sculpture park, a video & VIP lounge, an art book store and an auditorium for presentations. The main highlights include solo exhibitions by popular artists such as Jogen Chowdhuri, Dheeraj Chowdhuri, Yusuf Arakkal, among others. Among the biggest attractions at the fair will be British artist Damien Hirst’s creations being shown by UK gallery Art Concoction.

Besides exhibiting artworks, renowned poet & cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote has created the programme IAF Conversations, planned as an “interactive ambience for artists, art gallerists, art collectors and art lovers” during the five days of the art festival. It will include eight panel discussions, where art lovers and art experts, will discuss and try to decipher the complexities of economics & aesthetics in the world of art. So when you plan your trip to Mumbai, do leave some free time to drop in here. It might help you to fathom some of the intricacies in the art world that had been bothering you.

(The writer is a winner of many advertising

design awards and apainter of repute)


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