Art of the Matter
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India Art Fair 2013 opens with both familiar faces and new.
Previews are a hurried affair. But, on Thursday evening, as one walked into the NSIC Exhibition Ground in Delhi, the exhibition space was dolled up with over 100 galleries from India and across the globe. Right near the entrance, Reena Saini Kallat's Podium/Cube, a wooden sculpture of 20 cubes, stands unobstructed. On the other side, Replacement by Bangladeshi artist Mahbubur Rahman poses a striking picture, an Ambassador swathed in leather from used army boots, its boot overflowing with army shoes. One walks in and sees Neha Kirpal, founder-director of India Art Fair, greeting the visitors. Walking down the labyrinthine aisles is Amin Jaffer, international director of Asian art at Christie's, directing a horde of people to each artwork. India's biggest commercial art platform, the fifth edition of India Art Fair, was ready for its public opening.
While one saw regulars in Indian galleries such as Delhi Art Gallery, Vadehra Art Gallery, Dhoomimal Gallery and Volte Gallery, and international ones such as Aicon (New York), DIE Galerie (Frankfurt), Frida Fine Arts Gallery (Moscow), Grosvenor Gallery (London) and Jack Shainman Gallery (New York), a few fresh faces were seen from countries such as Israel, Turkey and Singapore.
Bringing works of two artists from Istanbul and Armenia, first-timer Yesim Turanli of Pi Artworks from Istanbul confesses to have been affected by the recent Delhi gang rape case, which reflects in Armenian artist Jean Paul Guiragossian's works at the fair. "He looks at women's issues, and how they affect everything around them and the world," says Turanli. She hopes she makes good contacts here. Artist Guiragossian, who is present there, says, "I have looked around. Some works are interesting and some are banal. But after my experience at many art fairs, this by far is the most welcoming and sophisticated."
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