101st Post: Announcing Artsome Walks @ India Art Fair 2015!

The India Art Fair held in New Delhi is one of the largest art fairs in South Asia for modern and contemporary art from the world over. Yes Bank presents India Art Fair 2015 is taking place from 29th January to 1st February, (with VIP preview on the 29th) at NSIC Exhibition Ground, Okhla Industrial Area. Founded in 2008, the fair has rigorously aimed at facilitating dialogue and art trade in the region as it is a platform for interaction between artists, collectors, buyers, enthusiasts, gallery owners, curators, academics and museum directors. With 85 galleries exhibiting artists in painting, sculpture, new media, installation and performance art, India Art Fair provides a conducive environment for the promotion of Art among a range of stakeholders. It also plays host to art book stores, restaurant spaces, curated walks and performance art.

One significant new element introduced to India Art Fair is the appointment of Girish Shahane as Artistic Director. Directing both the Artistic Projects and the Speakers’ Forum, Shahane will integrate a closely curated artistic programme with the fair itself, bringing a focus to the talks and projects to make them directly relevant to the galleries and artists exhibiting onsite and more accessible for visitors within the context of the fair.

The 2015 Speakers’ Forum will engage the entire range of stakeholders in the visual arts – artists, curators, critics, administrators, academics, gallerists and collectors, as well as covering a wide spectrum of artistic practices. Speakers will include Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director of documenta, the world’s largest and most prestigious contemporary art exhibition; Dr. Venu Vasudevan, Director General of the National Museum, Delhi; Jeremy Deller, leading artist and creator of the British pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale; Sheikha Hoor al Qasimi, Director of the Sharjah Biennale and curator of the UAE pavilion at the next Venice Biennale; and Julian Stallabrass, Professor at the Courtauld Institute London, lecturer and writer on modern and contemporary art.

For the 2015 Artistic Projects an extensive programme spanning the outdoor and indoor fair space will present a range of work from high profile Indian and international artists. Highlights of the programme include renowned French artist Daniel Buren’s massive installation work, supported by the French Embassy in India and specially designed for the art fair facade. This is the first of an annual artist led facade installation project at the fair. Atul Bhalla is creating a walkthrough maze of turnstiles, an interactive work that is both fun and thought provoking and Chitra Ganesh and Dhruvi Acharya will create a collaborative painting on site, giving visitors an insight into the processes contemporary artists employ in their work. The painting will unfold over four days from a blank canvas to the finished composition. A further dramatic project comes in the form of Francesco Clemente’s tent installation. For 40 years Clemente, one of the world’s most renowned painters, has collaborated with a range of Indian artisans in Chennai, Orissa, Varanasi and Jodhpur creating his series of tents using a range of techniques such as embroidery, block printing and his own spectacular paintings.

In addition, Presenting Partner YES Bank will host a series of talks and events in the YES Bank Lounge, including conversations with artists and collectors, workshops with the Asia Art Archive and book launches for Arpita Singh with Vadehra Art Gallery, and Forms of Devotion with Sushma Bahl and the Museum of Sacred Art.

Art Fair has also appointed Artsome to conduct its Curated Walks Program, which is an extension of the role that IAF plays in creating a space for dialogue and discussion. Artsome is a first of its kind endeavour to attempt to fill the lack of education and exposure to art in the Indian Subcontinent. It is a one-stop resource for information on Modern and Contemporary Art in the region. Based on the ideals of being democratic and inclusive, Artsome is dedicated to taking art beyond a niche audience. The aim of creating a space for dialogue between artists, art collectors, buyers and enthusiasts ties up with Artsome’s goal of inclusive dissemination of knowledge and information about Art and promoting Arts amongst an intersection of audience. Artsome has taken several initiatives towards this end since its inception. The curated walks conducted by Artsome for India Art Fair 2015 is a step towards taking art to the public as part of its Educate Artsome initiative. Walks curated by Artsome will help facilitate interaction and dialogue about the arts and will be a unique platform for us to interact with art enthusiasts and artists alike.  The prime purpose of these curated walks will be to further knowledge and generate interest in the Arts along with providing a comprehensive guide to the fair.