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What you missed at India Art Fair 2017
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 02 - 2017

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By Mariam Nihal
India Art Fair 2017 was a smash hit with over 90,000 visitors this year. The event took place in New Delhi from 2-5 February last week. The annual fair has become South Asia's leading platform for modern and contemporary art. In fact is has served as a strong cultural foundation for arts in the region. The fair has further strengthened its international position as the leading art platform in the world.
This year a vast range of art enthusiasts, directors, patrons, curators and 72 exhibitors including prestigious collectors from 19 cities across India and 23 countries around the world were a part of the fair.
"India Art Fair is very iconic. I have been a supporter since the inaugural event and over the last ten years, it has become like a magnet that consolidated not only the galleries, but the art collectors and those wanting to become collectors. I've seen it grow and metamorphose into something that has not only put India on the global contemporary art map but has also defined India not only as an emerging art market, but as an important and relevant art market for the rest of the world. Every year it gets better and better," said Rajshree Pathy, Founder Director, India Design Forum. This fair also welcomed delegations from prestigious museums including The Met, MOMA and the Guggenheim in New York, TATE, the Ashmolean Museum in UK, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, The Singapore Art Museum, M+ in Hong Kong among many more.
"India Art Fair is irresistible as we have an innate curiosity for what's going on in contemporary India. The museum has taken a great deal of interest in Indian art, particularly over the last 10 years, and I've been hearing a lot about the fair and felt it was important to be here," said Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.
India Art Fair saw a significant increase in international buyers and new collectors. The prices of artworks ranged from $1,000 to $8 million which of course belonged to renowned artists including M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza and others.
"This edition of India Art Fair has been a huge success, with impressive sales and global engagement from more world leading institutions and collectors than ever before. The strong international institutional turnout and number of established, new and young collectors is reflective of the high level of interest in this region. As we approach our ten year anniversary we look forward to an exciting year ahead, nurturing new relationships and developing our global expertise as a part of MCH Group's new Regional Art Fair initiative," said Neha Kirpal, Founding Director of India Art Fair.
This year saw the largest number of collectors from Mumbai since the fair's inception.
According to the reports released by India Art Fair 2017, this year results demonstrated a record high in contemporary art market with over 90% of galleries reporting strong sales results. 94% of Indian galleries and 85% of international galleries sold.
Over 30% of the exhibitors sold to collectors under 40, while 60% sold to new buyers and international collectors.
"India Art Fair and the Delhi art community seems to be working very well together. As a collector it has been wonderful to be so well received by all the different collectors, museums and galleries, who have had an opportunity to put on their best shows, not only for the international visitors, but also for the Indian visitors and local people. The fair seems to be developing on a rich soil of private initiatives, fueling a hunger and desire for cultural and artistic activities," said Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Collector, Brussels.
This year the art fair had a strong policy of diversity and brought together children from over 32 public schools in Delhi. They also brought in underprivileged children and those with special needs through a series of curated events and tours.
"India Art Fair provides a crucial forum for important conversations that now rarely happen in the public sphere. The fair has grown enormously in this respect, and it is for that reason that I am very happy to be here. I love coming to India Art Fair as it provides such a great opportunity to take the temperature of contemporary Indian art," said Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
H. E. Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation participated in the Speakers' Forum this year. "I always welcome the opportunity to come and visit India Art Fair. I find it very interesting and I have a lot of artist and gallerist friends here so being invited to participate in the Speakers' Forum was a great opportunity to come back to the fair," she said.
One of the major attractions at the fair this year was the iconic art car by BMW, the official partner for the event this year.
"The BMW Art Cars are an indispensable component and a core platform of our cultural engagement. They are unique creations combining automobiles, technology, design and art," said Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW India. Sachin Tendulkar unveiled the BMW art car by Sandro Chia at India Art Fair. Chia created the 13th Art Car for BMW in 1992 with the BMW M3 GTR.
For more information visit www.indiaartfair.in
Follow @indiaartfair on instagram, @India_ArtFair on Twitter

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