India Art Fair is back in Delhi from 1st to 4th February for its 15th edition. As the doldrums and general inactivity of January recede, one of the most beautiful months in the city arrives. The winning combination of sun and temperance makes it the perfect season for weekend walks around the India Art Fair’s massive grounds at NSIC. Don’t know how to navigate the fair? We spoke to Sree Goswami of Project 88, Mumbai (also in view at India Art Fair) on what to watch out for this year!
What are the new artists and exhibitions that would spark everyone’s interest?
In Mumbai, amongst the new exhibitions, I'd recommend two shows - first, Ghosts in my Sleep by Sohrab Hura, at Experimenter, where a photographer approaches the 'image' with a sensitive lens, and into a painterly realm. Second, Seattle-based artist Sangram Majumdar’s first solo exhibition in India, at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, where he crafts poetic compositions of the here and now. Sohrab’s paintings will also be on display at Experimenter’s booth in India Art Fair, one of many works to watch out for!
Sangram Majumdar at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
An underrated medium that you think newer artists are delving into?
Perhaps not underrated, but an age-old medium that is now becoming increasingly more relevant is sculpture - artists are finding newer ways to engage with materiality, tangibility, whilst focusing on the visceral experience of viewers. At India Art Fair this year, Project 88 is presenting a curated excerpt of only sculptures in our booth - an experiment with materiality, time, and form; this curation is anchored on Neha Choksi’s sculptural installation Double Negative, which will be seen in India for the first time, since its first iteration at the Shanghai Biennale in 2012.
Neha Choksi's 'Double Negative' at Project 88
Another international artist presenting sculpture in India is Berlin-based Alicja Kwade - in her work, the familiar appears strange. Her work will also be shown at India Art Fair, in Nature Morte's booth alongside her ongoing solo exhibition, MatterMoments at Dhan Mill. Her large sculptural installation, Superposition at the Sculpture Park, Jaipur, provokes an engaging experience where ordinary objects - mirrors and chairs - take a radically different form and configuration, making us think and see in alternative ways.
Alicja Kwade's 'MatterMoments' at Nature Morte
Any new guided tours that are a must for any first-timer?
‘Art and Wonderment’ - run by Alisha and Nishita - is a go-to for any first timer, they create tours that are designed to be accessible, interactive, and exciting. For the ones missing IAF, they also do a series of ‘Art Walks’ in Mumbai while also curating walkthroughs at selected festivals – so keep an eye out on them!
Apart from the obvious, what's something you seek at IAF?
Apart from contemporary art, the one thing that I enjoy the most in art fairs is the opportunity to see older works, from the moderns and masters. For instance, at India Art Fair, Jhaveri Contemporary will be showing Monika Correa's Banyan Tree, where the artist reinterprets her original work from 1984; her unique weaving method renders fabric into fluid, enchanting forms. And at Vadehra Art Gallery's booth, one can see a rare, large-scale painting by the iconic modernist Tyeb Mehta from 1999.
Monika Correa's works showcased at Jhaveri Contemporary