The phrase ‘Art in India is having a moment’ has been used in conversations quite liberally, but the churnalist phrase has come to hold true now. The Indian art-verse is colourful and storied, rich with not only its own, inimitable narratives but also access to a smorgasbord of narratives from the world over. Artists like Jitish Kallat, Anjolie Ela Menon, Shilpa Gupta and Bharti Kher have far more than token places in renowned galleries overseas. Closer home, the last five years have seen an uptick in gallery pop-ups, fairs, collaborations and travelling exhibits ensuring that art is no longer a pursuit only for the elite.
Fairs and Biennales like The India Art Fair, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India Design ID and Art Bengaluru deserve credit for being key contributors to that school of thought. The long-running fairs have come to occupy a pivotal place in the fabric of Indian art culture, bringing a series of artists–both world renowned and up-and-comers–and their work to an interested audience. This year, a major fair finds itself for the first time ever in Maximum City; Art Mumbai, coming to the Mahalaxmi Race Course between the 16-19th of November.
For the ardent art aficionado, this is big news. There are the sculpture gardens with artists such as Phanendra Nath Chaturvedi, Neeraj Goswami, Dhruva Mistry, Dhananjay Singh and others, that intersperse art with nature in the most organic of ways. Grosvenor Gallery (London), Aicon Gallery (New York), Aicon Contemporary (New York), 1X1 (Dubai) and Volte (Dubai) will be exhibiting, bringing over artworks from across the globe. Putting South Asian art on the map is the first order of things at the first edition of Art Mumbai. It also intends to pay homage to the city itself; and to be a platform for industry insiders, enthusiasts, collectors, first-time buyers, architects, designers and tastemakers.
For the relatively new, it’s a tiny opening in the door of the art world, allowing the kind of access to creators, galleries and curators that one might not ordinarily be able to get; especially to a collective of this calibre under the same roof. It allows an exploration of the art world with the opportunity to sample the works of some of your favourite artists–or others you might be curious about–at leisure.
For the art enthusiasts, Art Mumbai presents an opportunity to spend time on curated pieces- ones that play with mediums – in the physical form and digital avatars.
Set in the heritage location of the Mahalaxmi race course with 300 artists and almost 2000 artworks on display, Art Mumbai promises to celebrate art and artists. Besides the works, there’s a food court and live performances that pepper the days (for there is very little that a varied food court can’t solve). It is ideal for the curious amongst us that don’t think of ourselves as quite as well-versed as the insider, to unearth the art that makes us think and makes us smile.