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India Art Fair 2020 Closes Its 12 Edition

The fair was attended by leading gallerists, collectors, artists, museum professionals, philanthropists and students, with exhibitors reporting sales to new collectors entering both the contemporary and modern markets.

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India Art Fair closed its 12th edition amidst reports of strong sales, new participation with galleries and cultural institutions as well as a diverse audience of collectors and visitors reflecting continued growing confidence in modern and contemporary art and the South Asian art market. Presented by BMW Group India, the fair was held from January 30 – February 2, 2020, at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in New Delhi.

India Art Fair, the leading platform for contemporary and modern art from South Asia, closed its 12th edition on 2 February 2020, amidst strong sales and continued growing confidence in the South Asian art market. The fair was attended by leading gallerists, collectors, artists, museum professionals, philanthropists and students, with exhibitors reporting sales to new collectors entering both the contemporary and modern markets.

India Art Fair featured 81 modern, contemporary and institutional exhibitors, an inaugural performance art programme, outdoor projects, artist talks, workshops, book signings and the launch of the second issue of the annual India Art Fair magazine. The fair’s commitment to the art ecosystem in South Asia was made prominent through a curated programme throughout the fair duration which highlights audience awareness and exploration for Indian, regional and international audiences. The fair façade which featured work by popular contemporary artist Sameer Kulavoor which covered four exhibition tents.

Jagdip Jagpal, Fair Director, India Art Fair, said: “India Art Fair has grown extensively over the last 12 years. Over this most recent edition, the fair has showcased five hundred artists, each addressing a range of social, political and ecological topics in their individual ways and opening dialogues and perspectives of those visiting from across India and the wider globe. We’ve also engaged with a great range of new visitors and collectors from across the region, and internationally, while also reconnecting our relationships with those who’ve visited previously. With the collector’s masterclass sessions, we’ve also welcomed a great deal of new and young collectors and those with an interest in both modern and contemporary works. 

Over the last three years, we have looked to strengthen the programme through expanded talks, performances, a new bookshop and artist-led workshops to further engage audiences with art from the region, as well as make the visit to the fair ever more accessible for all ages and abilities, and highlight the very best of the South Asian and Indian art scene. Collaboration and support from across the arts, as well as the strong team behind the fair, have all played a hugely important role to helping with this year’s success. We look forward to the next edition of India Art Fair in 2021 and the continual support and encouragement from the artists, galleries and exhibitors who have contributed so positively to the great success this year.”

Marking their 5th year with India Art Fair, Presenting Partner BMW Group India returned to the fair and showcased the BMW Art Car by Andy Warhol – one of the nineteen prominent artists from across the world to have created Art Cars using contemporary BMW automobiles of their times, which was for this edition, complimented by The Warhol Talk.  

Rudratej Singh, President and CEO, BMW Group India, said: “At BMW, we just don’t build the best performing cars, but deeply believe in the intangibles. People love BMW for its superior performance, luxurious experience, safety and its underpinning design and aesthetic sensibility. Therefore, to help build and strengthen intercultural platforms of creativity in the field of art, music, design and architecture is very important to us. India Art Fair is a perfect platform for us to reach out to our discerning customers and showcase the brand’s philosophy.”

Building on the success of the last editions, the 2020 fair attendees included prominent collectors and arts industry professionals from across India, the South Asia region and internationally who attended to explore and experience the diverse line up of leading exhibitors alongside a curated programme of performances and talks. 

Senior figures in India’s cultural scene attended the fair, including architect Mahendra Raj and David Adjaye, film actress Sonam Kapoor, fashion designers Aneeth Arora, Sanjay Garg, Masaba Gupta, Rashmi Varma, Gaurav Jai Gupta, Nimish Shah, J.J. Valaya and Ranna Gill, writer and author Vikram Seth, philanthropists Kiran Nadar, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Pinky Reddy, Feroze Gujral and Lekha Poddar. Representatives of large corporations including BNP Paribas, Reliance Group, DLF Limited, Taj Hotels, JSW Foundation, Credit Suisse, Google, RPG Group and NITI Aayog were also present, along with ambassadors and senior government officials from France, Germany, Korea, Brazil, Italy, Canada, United States of American and the United Kingdom.

With the fairs focus on the artists’ voice throughout its programming, the following artists attended: Martin Parr, Marcel Dzama, Nadira Husain, Amar Kanwar, Nilima Sheikh, Gulammohamed Sheikh, Vivan Sundaram, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Arpita Singh, Atul Dodiya, Anju Dodiya, Jitish Kallat, Reena Kallat, Shilpa Gupta, Asim Waqif, Mithu Sen, Tayebi Begum Lipi, Tanya Goel, Youdhisthir Maharjan, Ronny Sen and Thukral & Tagra, amongst others. 

India Art Fair welcomed a number of visitors which included members and patrons from prestigious institutions featuring the Museum of Modern Art (USA); the Musée des Arts Modernes de la Ville de Paris (France); MFA Houston (USA), The Santa Barbara Museum (USA); Dhondt Dhaenens Museum (Belgium); and the Guggenheim (USA); and collector groups from Russia, Germany and the USA; and visits from Glen Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art; Devika Singh, Curator of International Art, Tate Modern; Dr. Mallica Kumbera Landrus, Senior Curator of Indian Collections, Ashmolean Museum; and curators from notable institutions such as Amy Poster (Brooklyn Museum), Aimee Froom (Islamic Worlds at the Museum of Fine Arts) Uthra Rajgopal (Whitworth Museum), Sandhini Poddar and Alexandra Munro (Solomon R Guggenheim Museum), Ritika Biswas (New Art Exchange), Tarun Nagesh (Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art), Ulrike Groos (Kunstmuseum Stuttgart), Zelfira Tregyulova (Tretyakov State Gallery) and Sophie Makariou (Musée Guimet), and José Carlos Diaz (Andy Warhol Museum), amongst others.

In 2020, India Art Fair has been an all-inclusive event, with a program featuring dedicated tours for supporting special assistance. Art making workshops attracted school students and families providing activities and events for all ages, backgrounds and abilities over the course of the fair. The refreshed layout, and diversity of focused and curated displays was noted by many visitors, along with the high standard of gallery presentations showcasing a breadth of work from around the world.

After nine years of being at NSIC, the 13th edition of India Art Fair will take place at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi within the newly built exhibition halls, from 18 February to 21 February 2021. 

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