With art in focus, the India Art Fair has several discussions and workshops planned around it

One of the biggest art events in India, as the 13th edition of the India Art Fair (IAF) opens at NSIC Grounds, Okhla, on April 28, it promises to bring together some of the biggest names, from modern to contemporary. Spanning decades, works from varied genres will be on view and there will be art ranging from indegineous folk forms to NFTs. But beyond mere viewing of art, the four-day event will also include other programs to engage the audience. Here is what one can explore outside the gallery booths:

Take a walk

Looking at over thousands of works of art in a day can be intimidating and it might also help for someone to put together a theme or offer a perspective on the works. At IAF, this want is being fulfilled through curated walks. To take place throughout the day, from April 29 to May 1, the walks will have curators guide the participants on a range of themes — from “Modern, Contemporary, Folk”, that explores the relationship between the three, to “Art in the World” that delibrates on “What is the role of art in society today? How does it archive, record and document the past and speak to the present moment?”. If “Click, Click, Click” is centered on the medium of photography, “Art Meets Tech” is for the digitally-inclined and explores mediums such as NFT. Each walk takes 30-40 minutes. For prior registration write to programmingassist@indiaartfair.in.

Conrad Shawcross’s ‘Study for Cloths of Heaven’. (Photo: PR handout)

Do some learning

One can also become an artist or learn more about its nuances by choosing to attend one of the several workshops at the fair. Reimagined by LAND (Learning through Arts, Narrative and Discourse), the series of workshops are meant for everyone. Among others, at a three-day workshop “Thinker’s Garden”, teachers and educators will discuss how to create space for art in their classrooms and design modules that encourage students to express creatively. In another workshop, conservator Shreya Sharma will teach participants the basics of preventive conservation of art.

india art fair Spanning decades, works from varied genres will be on view and there will be art ranging from indegineous folk forms to NFTs (Photo: PR Handout)

There are numerous artist-led workshops as well. Artist Pratyush Gupta will help participants create their own pop-up books in one session, and another will have artist Gurjeet Singh invite participants to create soft sculptures using textiles. “Warp, Weft and Memories”, led by artist Arpita Akhanda, will require participants to carry photographs or photocopies of images which represent their idea of ​​home. The artist will help them create an artwork as “a way of rediscovering themselves and their personal histories”. For registration, write to specialprojects@indiaartfair.in.

For a word

While there will be a section at the fair stocked with art memorabilia and publications, the IAF will also see several book launches.
Experimenter Books will present the first iteration of Experimenter Editions, “Drawn from Practice”, a portfolio of reproductions of works in a signed, limited edition of 100, shared by artists Ayesha Sultana, Biraaj Dodiya, Julien Segard, Prabhakar Pachpute, Radhika Khimji, Rathin Barman and Sahil Naik. Prints by the artists are accompanied by a preparatory drawing, expressing the ideas that inform their works.
On April 29, a Braille book, The Art of Benode Behari Mukherjee, published by Kolkata Center for Creativity in collaboration with Access for All, will be launched. It features five paintings converted into tactile artworks and an accompanying essay by his friend and fellow modernist KG Subramanyan.

In the book Fire in the Soul: The Art of PR Daroz, presented and released by Gallerie Nvya and published by Pundole Art Gallery, significant contributions of the Indian ceramist have been recorded. To be released on April 30, authored by Michael and Dipalee Daroz, it covers distinct phases in his career, from the large architectural installations to delicate porcelain and ceramic works. The same day will also see the launch of a new photobook, Guftgu, curated and edited by Anshika Varma of Offset Projects. It will discuss the practice of ten contemporary photographers from South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, including Adira Thekkuveettil, Amarnath Praful, Arko Datto, Arun Vijai Mathavan, Cheryl Mukherjee, Diwas Raja KC, Jaisingh Nageshwaran, Nandita Raman, Nida Mehboob and Uma Bista .
Dedicated to sculpture, Chawla Art Gallery will bring to the fair Molded Magic: Sculpture on a Bench by curator Sushma K Bahl.

india art fair Santosh Kumar Das’s work from the Tantra series 1993. Ink on Paper. (Photo: PR Handout)

Talking art

The fair will also see experts discuss varied art practices and trends on the dais. Several talks will take place during the course of the fair. If on April 30 (2 – 2.45 pm) artist Atul Dodiya will be in conversation with his long-time friend and gallerist, Shireen Gandhy of Chemould Prescott Road, on April 29 (3-3.45 pm), renowned art writer and critic Gayatri Sinha will give a talk in memory of the late Satish Gujral, who passed away in 2020. On May 1 (3 pm to 3.45 pm) artist Hetain Patel will be in conversation with gallerist Mortimer Chatterjee of Chatterjee & Lal, about his film Trinity, and his personal history and identity as a British artist of Indian descent.

On April 29 (12 pm to 1.30 pm) Partha Mitter, Parul Dave Mukherji and Rakhee Balaram, eminent art historians and editors of the new seminal publication, 20th Century Indian Art, published by Thames & Hudson in association with Art Alive Gallery, will be in conversation with social anthropologist Manuela Ciotti and art historian Naman Ahuja, contributors to the book. The discussion will cover the making of the book and the key movements and artists that have defined Indian art. It will be moderated by writer Premjish Achari.

On May 1 (4 to 4.45 pm), photographer Raghu Rai will be in conversation with Emmanuel Lenain, the French Ambassador to India, on their book Through Their Eyes: Raghu Rai and Emmanuel Lenainfeaturing photographs of Paris taken by Rai and of India by the Ambassador.
Catching the latest trend of NFT Art, meanwhile, will be a session on the medium (April 30, 4 pm to 4.45 pm) that will include as panelists multimedia and NFT artist Raghava KK, Aparajita Jain of the Indian NFT platform Terrain.art and Om Malviya of blockchain platform Tezos India.

For complete programme, log onto http://www.indiartfair.in

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