Gallery owners, artists, art collectors and the press descended on Pragati Maidan over the weekend for India Art Summit 2008, India’s modern and contemporary art fair. More than 35 galleries from indian and overseas participated in the fair, from Delhi-based Dhoomimal Gallery to UK-based Emerging World Art.
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Though many galleries stuck with paintings and photography, there was a definite inclusion of installation artwork filling the stalls, such as the Tarscapes at Rob Dean Art by artist Kriti Arora. At Palette Art Gallery, one room had been taken over by George Martin P.J.’s Colourless Breath. Heat emanates off the red bulbs that light up a man slumped at a table with a skull and books.
Hanmer MS&L brought stand-alone artworks to decorate the entrance and the exterior of the fair. A fan favourite seemed to be Collidonthus by Jitish Kallat, a car built from bones with a playful send-up to the cartoon series The Flintstones.
Though some guests bemoaned the lack of any one surprising work at the show, there was a good balance of upcoming artists and established works. For the Indian gallery owners, the fair was not only a chance to make sales, it was a social event with everyone in the business getting together on their home turf.