In its 15th edition, the India Art Fair has not only become one of the country’s leading cultural events but has also transformed into a celebration of the featured artists. It advocates for the idea that contemporary art has the ability to evoke profound concepts through visual experiences. But beyond the artistic aspect, the fair has facilitated sales for galleries, attracting both established and new millennial collectors interested in various mediums, genres, and price ranges.
As the latest edition approaches in New Delhi from February 1 to 4, 2024—marking its biggest edition yet with over 100 exhibitors from India and beyond—the fair introduces a new collectible ‘Design’ section, high-quality ‘Outdoor Projects’, significant artist commissions, and a diverse range of art, including traditional and next-gen digital works. Fair director Jaya Asokan provides a guided tour, offering insights into what attendees can anticipate.
Under one roof
The fair will have a cohort of 12 international galleries in its main Galleries section, including a Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Marc Straus, neugerriemschneider and Galleria Continua, which will bring works by not only global powerhouses such as Ai Weiwei, Olafur Eliasson, Eva Jospin and Ozioma Onuzulike but also the contemporary South Asian artists in their rosters such as Shilpa Gupta and Nikhil Chopra.
A brand new collectible Design section
One of the biggest highlights of the fair this year will be the inaugural ‘Design’ section. The fair aims to promote greater cross-pollination among creative disciplines and expand its offerings to collectors through this new addition. The Design section will host seven standout design studios that make innovative and contemporary interventions into South Asia’s rich legacy of craft.
The offerings in this section range from limited-edition furniture by Vikram Goyal, RooshadSHROFF, Atelier Ashiesh Shah, and Gunjan Gupta, to expressive jewellery by Studio Renn. Additionally, there will be an artistic collaboration titled ‘Water Matters’ between major French artist Barthélémy Toguo, creative director Karishma Swali, and the highly skilled artisans of the Chanakya School of Craft. This collaboration aims to design a unique, interdisciplinary installation spotlighting the confluence of art and craft. The Design section will also feature handmade wallpapers by deGournay
The ‘Studio’ space at the fair will host interactive, transformative, and cutting-edge digital art, including the Digital Residency Hub. This hub is home to standout projects by the fair’s Digital Artists in Residence — Dhruv Jani, MYLES x Ameya, and Sadhna Prasad. Each of these young artists will showcase their interpretations of the theme ‘Forces of Nature,’ using art and technology to create thought-provoking work on our current ecological crises.
The projects, made on iPad and MacBook Pro, will range from an immersive audio-visual world celebrating India’s stunning birdlife to a conceptual video game. Additionally, visitors to the ‘Studio’ space can join Sessions presented by Today at Apple, where they can learn the basics of digital art making and create their own artworks.
Beyond the presentations in the exhibition halls, visitors can look forward to entering the fairgrounds on a 100-metre long carpet designed by Artist in Residence Siddharth Gohil aka Khatra; artists Skarma Sonam Tashi and Phillip Frank will also create an entire ‘mountainscape’ using sustainable and recycled materials, supported by sā Ladakh and the German Embassy; visitors will be able to get lost in an Art Maze created by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art; and interact with a haunting installation by the winner of the first-ever MTArt Agency x India Art Fair Artist Prize, Sajid Wajid Shaikh, who makes literal the Hindi idiom, दीवारों के भी कान होते हैं। (Walls have ears too).
The India Art Fair Facade, the biggest canvas in New Delhi, will be designed by artist duo Thukral & Tagra and repurposed into collectible bags by Dalit-run Chamar Studio, after the fair.
In the fair’s Workshop Space, curated by Learning through Art, Narrative and Discourse (LAND) and supported by Faber Castell, workshops will be hosted throughout the day. These sessions aim to encourage visitors to become artists themselves.
In the Inclusion Lab, which is housed in an expanded space for the 2024 edition and enabled with a Sensory Art Rest Corner, inclusion experts Access for ALL will conduct engaging workshops for people with disabilities. Sensitization sessions will also be part of the program.
The Talks program, supported by JSW, will be conducted exclusively in Indian Sign Language.
This year, the fair will feature special Art Tours for children, programmed by the Museum of Solutions. The goal is to bring the transformative potential of creativity to possibly its most receptive audience.