India Art Fair
An annual commercial art fair held in New Delhi, the India Art Fair (IAF) brings together Indian and international gallerists, collectors and artists. Formerly known as the India Art Summit, it is considered to have opened up new avenues and facilitated commercial interest in Indian art and is one of the foremost events for seasonal sales of Indian and South Asian art in the subcontinent.
IAF was initiated in 2008 by Neha Kirpal, following the Indian Art Boom. Kirpal conceptualised the fair as a private venture, based on similar internationally renowned art fairs, such as Frieze London and Art Basel, in order to facilitate interest in and build connections with galleries and collectors interested in Indian art.
The IAF takes place over four days, with the first day dedicated to VIP invitees, consisting mainly of collectors and gallerists, who are given the opportunity to express their interest in artworks. The fair is organised at NSIC Grounds in Okhla, New Delhi, with the artworks displayed in tents that recreate the white cube gallery space, as well as a restaurant, cafe and bar sections and food stalls for visitors. The programming at the fair combines lectures, performances and guided tours for visitors.
In the early years after its establishment, the fair saw active participation by galleries from New Delhi and Mumbai, before beginning to include galleries from across the country and internationally, such as Nature Morte, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Chatterjee & Lal, FICA, Emami Art, Delhi Art Gallery, Aicon Art, Akar Prakar, Experimenter, Serendipity Arts, Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) and TARQ. IAF also includes dedicated booths to showcase individual projects that may be used by galleries to highlight their artists’ works.
In 2016, the fair was partially acquired by MCH Group, the owners of the Art Basel network, before it was wholly acquired by Montgomery Arts, who had been shareholders in the fair since 2011. As of writing, Jaya Asokan is the fair director.
The fourteenth edition of the fair took place in April 2022, following a year-long delay owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Goldpink, Sebastian. “Subcontinental Shifts: The 9th India Art Fair.” Art Monthly Australia, April 2017. https://www.proquest.com/openview/2430800d7e3de701b5d0b48a45bdf131/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=886360.
India Art Fair. “About.” Accessed March 28, 2022. https://indiaartfair.in/about.
Jumabhoy, Zehra. “Zehra Jumabhoy Around the Second India Art Summit.” Artforum, August 27, 2009. https://www.artforum.com/diary/zehra-jumabhoy-around-the-second-india-art-summit-23553.
Vermeylen, Filip. “The India Art Fair and the Market for Visual Arts in the Global South.” In Cosmopolitan Canvases: The Globalization of Markets for Contemporary Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Zarobell, John. “From New Delhi: India Art Fair.” Art Practical 4, no. 10 (2013). https://repository.usfca.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=international_fac.