India Art Fair 2018: What To Expect At The Subcontinent’s Biggest Art Affair

28.7041° N, 77.1025° E


The leading platform for modern and contemporary art from South Asia, India Art Fair (IAF) is set to host its 10th edition at NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla, from February 9 to 12. A vista to the cultural landscape of #OurCity, it will be the first under the directorship of Jagdip Jagpal, who has worked on international partnerships at Tate Modern, London and New North + South, Manchester. The programme involves collaborative efforts of galleries, private foundations, artists’ collectives, cultural institutions and festivals to acquaint local and international art aficionados with the cultural history and development of South Asia.

The exhibitions at the fair are categorised into five sections, each focusing on Indian and international galleries, solo exhibitors, art museums & foundations displaying work specially commissioned for the fair, young and upcoming talent, and Art Projects, a non-commercial space for large scale art installations. With a new leader at the helm of affairs, the 2018 edition of IAF is set to turn a new leaf by shifting the emphasis from its commercial aspect to the cultivation of a thriving ecosystem for the art community in the region. To this aim, we’ll see participation from Chatterjee & Lal, Jhaveri Contemporary and Chemould Prescott Road, Experimenter, Vadehra Art Gallery, Gallery Espace and Art Heritage. Amongst international names, David Zwirner, Blain | Southern, and Sabrina Amrani are set to grace the occasion. Also partnering with the fair are Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art, Korean Culture Centre, and the Institut Français en Inde.


In addition to Art Projects by G Ravinder Reddy, Sudarshan Shetty, Shilpa Gupta, Imran Qureshi, Subba Ghosh, Timothy Hyunsoo Lee, and Fransesco Clemente, the programme of IAF will also comprise conversations with international artists and consultants on issues related to the art world (such as authentication, importing/exporting, and conservation). A moving image work by British artist Hitein Patel, along with other screenings and live events will offer a wide spectrum of activities to engage with the fair’s variegated audiences.

Dhoomimal Art Gallery, through an exhibition called the Navratna (Nine Gems), will pay tribute to nine nationally treasured names that defined Indian modern art including Rabindranath Tagore and Amrita Sher-Gil. The only relief sculpture Sher-Gil ever made — of tigers in plaster of Paris — will also be displayed in public for the first time. While highlights of previous editions have included the works of Pablo Picasso and Anish Kapoor, audiences this year can contemplate the oeuvre of Anjolie Ela Menon, FN Souza, and Rithika Merchant.

Left: Anne Samat’s Freedom 3 … from fear, 2017; Right: Sunil Gawde, Still Alive III,2016-17 ; Image:

Reinterpreting India’s rich vernacular art culture, Tribal Art Forms and Delhi Crafts Council will also showcase their work. Tribal Art Forms, the brainchild of two Delhi-based contemporary galleries — Exhibit320 and BluePrint12 — providing a platform for indigenous art forms, such as Bhil, Gond, and Kalighat, will be launching its website at IAF. Founded in 1967 by Smt Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, Delhi Crafts Council is a non-profit organisation working for sustainable livelihoods through the promotion and development of traditional artisans and craft skills.

Jagpal’s aim for the 10th edition of IAF goes beyond achieving  a wider representation for South Asian artists in terms of exhibition space. A fresh additional section called ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ will witness artists such as Waqas Khan and the Kochi Biennale Foundation sharing presentations on their international exhibitions and projects. Aimed towards a larger goal of changing the discourse around the industry which is rooted in Delhi and Mumbai, it encourages diversity of thoughts and ideas. With her eyes already set on 2019, Jagpal intends to increase the participation of galleries from other parts of the country, including Chennai and Chandigarh.


Entry to the India Art Fair is permissible by ticket and valid ID proof only. A standard general ticket costs INR 600, and a standard student ticket is available for INR 350. To book yours, click here.


Featured Image Courtesy: