Warhol, global warming to take IAF centre stage

Warhol, global warming to take IAF centre stage
According to the latest information the upcoming India Art Fair (IAF) will feature artworks presented by 50 art galleries from India and 28 galleries from abroad. This year the IAF is scheduled from January 30 to February 2 (with an invitation-only VIP preview on January 30). In keeping with the trend set by earlier editions of this highly prestigious annual event, this year we can once again look forward to viewing the latest techniques and styles being used internationally. Many of these techniques have been eye-openers for Indian art lovers and helped in bringing in throngs of enthralled visitors every year.

The international participants include a number of returning European galleries along with a few new comers, all of whom “share the common goal to explore the Indian art market, forge key relationships and meet new collectors from South Asia”. These are the relationships that will, in the long run, be helpful to every art gallery and India’s vast number of talented artists to find a foothold in the burgeoning art market.

A sneak peak of the artworks being exhibited at the IAF reveals that there is a common trend running through the themes that we can expect to see. With ‘global warming’ becoming a frightening reality, there are a number of images that focus on this all important subject. While artists choose different mediums and styles to present their thoughts, the subject remains common. For instance Mumbai’s Chemold Presscott Road’s presentation of artist Gogi Scaria’s Dust — an ink-jet print on archival paper — is both real and ominous: habitation and footprints are swallowed by the rising sand. Similarly Grosvenor gallery presents Himalaya, a highly decorative modern pattern of leaves against mountain peaks in green (wishful thinking) created by Olivia Fraser, using ancient Indian art techniques and materials such as stone pigment, gold and arabic gum on hand-made sanganer paper. Galerie Lelong’s presentation of Nalini Malani’s multiple images titled Despoiled Shore is a rather tongue in cheek title of artworks that focus on despoiling of humans rather than life sustaining elements.

On a lighter note, we have the theme of camera or film, which has been used to record events ever since it was created. Presented by Gallery Ske is Anup Mathew Thomas’ image of a Camera, an inkjet print on Hahnemuhle photo rag paper. You could also spot a movie equipment in one of Subodh Gupta’s inimitable creations titled There is Always Cinema presented by Galleria Continua.

Other interesting artworks include Narendra Yadav’s Invisible Violent Particle 2012, a sculpture using bronze, wood and concrete, depicting a hammer and a stone, with a broken corner, showcased by Gallery Maskara, while Jhaveri Contemporary offers Yamini Nayar’s colourful C-print rendition of what she titles Chrysalis. Besides these thought-provoking artworks, visitors can also look forward to seeing a number of famous names at the IAF this year. One name stands out at the moment and should be in the list of things to see for all those who are planning to visit the IAF is Andy Warhol’s charming creation Princess Caroline of Monaco presented by Galerie Klaus Benden and is likely to be a key focus at the IAF.

(The writer is an author and a former art gallery owner)

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