USER'S GUIDE TO India Art Fair.
Richard Branson painted the car red. Now, see what Bangladeshi artist Mahbubur Rahman has done to the ageless charmer. His installation ' Replacement' is a leather Ambassador car made out of thousands of used army boots and you can see it lording over show designer Suman Jayakrishnan's tent.
B BOMBAY PROGRESSIVES
With their pricetags consistently heading north, it's getting harder to own one, so you may as well check out the best of the Delhi Art Gallery's collection of Progressive masters M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza and F. N. Souza lined up at booth C- 9. Husain's famous 1959 portrait of the US- based Keehn family is the highlight of the exhibit. The above picture is of a print by the late artist.
C CURATED WALKS
A must if your curiosity propels you to the Fair. Keep your eyes open as Zurich- based curator, Mirjam Varadinis, takes you around the booths -- you can't ask for a more informed tour guide.
Post the omnipresence of modern artists comes the dawn of the global contemporary. Curious? Or do you wish to know more about the contradictions inherent in collecting? Sit in as experts such as Barbara London from The Museum of Modern Art ( New York), Liu Yingjiu from Shanghai's Rockbund Art Museum, Robert Storr from the Yale School of Art, Paris- based curator Akiko Miki and Yes Bank's founderchairman Rana Kapoor discuss these issues in depth.
Roots, metal pipes, wire mesh and sand bags -- these are just some of the materials that go into Israeli artist Achia Anzi's ( pictured) 15ft x 20ft project for the Threshold Art Gallery.
His 2012 show, ' Peaceful Be Your Return, O lovely bird, from warm lands back to my window', saw white doves of peace transform themselves into ravaging hawks of war in his land of birth.
F FRENCH CONNECTION
Set off on a visual voyage highlighting the French heritage of places such as Pondicherry, Chandannagar ( West Bengal), Hyderabad and Lucknow at Alliance Francaise de Delhi. Keep your eyes open for Indiamore , a movie by Christophe Chassol, shot in Varanasi and Kolkata, which harmonises the sounds and images of these cities to the tunes of traditional Indian music.
G GALLERIE GANESHA MINIATURES
In the confluence of LED lights and 3- D installations designed to dazzle eyeballs, don't miss these small wonders.
Satish Gujral and Laxmi Goud join K. S. Radhakrishnan, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Ganesh Pyne, Jayasri Burman and Jogen Chowdhury among others in a world of miniatures at this Delhibased gallery's booth J- 5. The mixed- media painting ( left) is by artist Neelkant Choudhry.
Transitory identities and contested geographies come together in these 80 works by 28 contemporary British artists who grapple with the ideas of belonging, alienation, history and memory at the IGNCA ( 11 Mansingh Road).
I IN THE LOUNGE
Sit back and enjoy the mixed fare of videos that will be screened from 11 a. m. to 6p. m. on February 1- 2. The Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, adds to the assortment with 17 contemporary Indian and Swiss videos. Mithu Sen's Icarus , Prateek Sagar's Did You See the World and Alexander Hahn's Here + Now are some of the promising ones.
J JITISH KALLAT
Mumbai's creative powerhouse had previously unveiled to the world three monumental text installations in 2003, 2007 and 2010, using material as different as fibreglass bones and coloured lightbulbs. Now, for the first time in India, you can walk through his tunnel- like Covering Letter, based on the Mahatma's letter to Hitler in 1939, spanning across the fair grounds.
K KHOJ SURROUND SOUND
Two audio- based programmes blossom as Khoj International Artists' Association celebrates the opening of its new and renovated buildings. The first, titled ' Listen, my heart, to the whispers of the world', is a two- hour exhibition of sound art at DT Cinemas in Saket; 7.30 p. m. to 9.30 p. m. The second, ' Auditions: Sound Residency', will be presented at Khoj Studios, S- 17, Khirkee Extension, also on February 2.
L LIVING WALLS
G. R. Iranna, Sakti Burman, Paresh Maity, Mithu Sen, Manu Parekh and other celebrated artists have transformed the Gurgaonbased Art Alive Gallery's walls into dynamic works of art as part of a collateral event, which will be open to the public on Sunday, February 3.
Akash Choyal's work, ready to be launched on Thursday, is being billed as the world's first 3D art book. This limited edition book contains six actual miniature trio- graphs of masterpiece works of the 3D artist him. The pain & ink ramble ( in the picture) is from the collection on display.
A 43- minute video by Bangalore's Kiran Subbaiah, without a definite beginning or end, is being brought by Mumbai's Chatterjee and Lal Gallery to the Video Lounge. The young artist becomes an actor in his videos in which his deadpan seriousness serves as the voice of social commentary.
O OILS & LITHOS
Admire the many faces of Akbar Padamsee's black- and- white men in lithographic prints at Art Heritage, Triveni Kala Sangam, or marvel at his 12- foot mirror image and other oil paintings at his solo show brought to the fair by Mumbai's Priyasri Art Gallery at booth S- 9.
P PRINTED WOOD
A 4ft x 4ft wooden sculpture comprising 20 pieces that fit together to form a cube is made of sections that simulate podiums at sporting events. Created by Reena Saini Kallat and supported by Nature Morte, New Delhi, this cube will be one of the many installations decorating the fair grounds.
Q QUIRK BOX
The online platform selling offbeat products launches its uber- cool offline collection named ' Stuck with Stupid' at the Fair. This Pune- based studio brings along its quirky and fun range of lifestyle products ( in the picture) and promises to add on the eclecticism on Okhla's grounds.
S SKODA PRIZE
After having the Dalai Lama launch his much- acclaimed ' Out of the Box' calendar at the Jaipur Literature Festival, the creative photographer will showcase his series of nudes shot at Enrico Navarra's gallery in St. Tropez.
R ROHIT CHAWLA
The February 1 announcement of the winner of the coveted Skoda Prize is likely to hog as much attention as the Fair itself. Contenders include Mumbai's Shilpa Gupta, South Korea- based L. N. Tallur and Bangalore's Srinivasa Prasad.
T TAGRA & THUKRAL K. ASIF
Walk into the first- ever digital art installation by this accomplished duo ( pictured) at Le Meridien. On the day of the unveiling, get to interact with them and understand their unusual ways of looking at everyday objects.
U UNHERALDED TALENT
Check out Biju Joze's ' Agni II', a missile made of books, a contribution from Dubai's 1x1 Art Gallery ( booth B4), and Gautam Kansara's ' Bedtime Stories', a video- installation that plays on the notion of childhood, at Shrine Empire ( booth C13).
V VIKRAM SETH
If you missed his calligraphic art on Absolut vodka's iconic bottle, this is the time to make up for lost time. Check out his ' suitable bottle' paintings ( left) at the Absolut stall. The vodka maker is a partner of the Fair.
The city- based gallery ( booth G8) presents the photographs of Pakistani artist Amber Hammad. In his words, these photographs " set in the current urban and modern social culture of Pakistan, look at how relationships to dress and identity are culturally conditioned and subject to changes brought by globalisation".
X X- FACTOR
Farhad Hussain's ' A Tale to Tell' is a visual parody that plays on human static expressions as splashes of colour bring to life the artist's perception of the sub- conscious mind at the Creativity Art Gallery in Lado Sarai. The shows brings together some beautiful art works in bright colours, which are sure to be one of the highlights of this year's Fair. The picture ( right) shows one of the art works on display.
Y YEAR OF AMRITA SHER- GIL
The Fair celebrates the Amrita Sher- Gil centenary at the Hungarian Cultural and Information Centre on Janpath.
Bonjour India , the Festival of France, also takes note of the historical landmark with a seminar on ' Amrita Sher- Gil: Passage to India' on January 31 at the Residence de France.
And the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art showcases Sher- Gil's work as part of its show ' Difficult Loves'.
Z ZING FACTOR
The focus of this Fair, to quote its young founderdirector Neha Kirpal, " is on developing new audiences and initiating new energy in the Indian art market". For those with a limited knowledge about art, it is an opportunity to learn more, and for existing collectors, it offers a brand new line- up of exciting work.
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