23 Artworks We Loved at the 2018 India Art Fair

Art Wise

The 10th Edition of the prestigious India Art Fair took place in New Delhi from February 9-12, 2018. And visitors were spoilt for choice with the innumerable fantastic works of art on display! From modern masters to contemporary stalwarts, Indian legends to world renowned artists, the fair brought together the very best across painting, sculpture, photography, installation and other art forms. Here is Artisera’s pick of 23 works of art (in no particular order), that we absolutely loved!

1.Viveek Sharma’s Sadhus

Talented artist Viveek Sharma presented 3 works from his Life Lines and Trance series. The oil on canvas artworks, depicting Sadhus, were dramatic, stunning and eye-catching, and we were left awed by the artist’s hyper-realistic rendition of intricate facial features.

2. Moebius Ballade by Antonio Santin

Probably the most talked about artwork at the fair, this stunning piece is not a carpet, it’s an oil on canvas painting! Displayed by Mumbai’s Galerie ISA, the work has been created by the extremely talented Spanish artist Antonio Santin, who is world-renowned for his arresting compositions, that he describes as “more real than reality itself”.

3. Soaring to Nowhere by Sudipta Das

Supported by Latitude 28, this moving installation titled ‘Soaring to Nowhere’, by the young and incredibly talented Sudipta Das, threw light upon the sufferings of refugees as a result of displacement. The figures suspended in air were remarkably detailed and evoked strong emotions, provoking viewers to ponder over the concepts of entitlement and citizenship.

4. Almost Dangerous Liaisons by Amber Hammad

Inspired by European artist Rene Magritte’s famous painting Dangerous Liaisons, this fascinating photograph by Pakistani artist Amber Hammad, displayed at the Wonderwall booth, was titled ‘Almost Dangerous Liaisons’. While the original Magritte painting is a comment on the distorted reality of encounters between the self and others, this striking photograph by Hammad is a comment on the confusion of attire and identity in the socio-cultural milieu of contemporary moderate Muslim women. 

5. Trump and Kim Jong Un by Aminul Islam Ashik

Bangladeshi artist Aminul Islam Ashik’s sculptures of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, displayed at the Britto Arts Trust booth, instantly caught the eye, for their wit and timely political relevance in today’s world. The faces of the two leaders are split, with Trump’s face revealing 4 chairs, while Kim Jong Un’s face revealed missiles.

6. Raja Ravi Varma’s Sketches

An exquisite collection of drawings from Raja Ravi Varma's sketchbook (which he used for more than a decade and a half), were displayed by DAG as part of the "Navratna Nine Gems" special exhibit, showcasing works from India's 9 National Treasure artists. The sketches provide a glimpse into how the master artist thought about his compositions, while reaffirming his genius.

7. Paresh Maity’s Caravan

A regular at the India Art Fair, Paresh Maity presented his gigantic 2016 masterpiece titled ‘Caravan’ at the Gallerie Nvya booth, measuring 168 x 96 inches, and featuring striking colours, a brilliant composition, and his distinctive style.

8. Gandhi Taking Selfie with the Cow

A poignant yet humorous life size fiberglass sculpture, “Gandhi taking selfie with the cow” by artist Debanjan Roy caught everyone’s attention, for its beautiful articulation of the changing social realities of modern India. The artist often depicts Gandhiji in his works, seen interacting with incommensurably contemporary objects, to question how India’s history can be squared with its present and future.

9. Jamini Roy Tempera on Cloth

An outstanding and extremely rare work of art by Jamini Roy, one of India’s most acclaimed artists, was displayed by Dhoomimal Gallery. Measuring 119 x 106 inches, this distinctive masterpiece was a tempera on cloth artwork, that surprised with its scale and composition.

10. Photographs by Cop Shiva

An uber-cool artist who used to work in the Karnataka Police Department, Cop Shiva’s vibrant photographic portraits capture the complexity of Indian life. Fascinated with the idea of masquerade and the roles people play in public and private, the photographs show people posing against graffiti across the streets of Bangalore.

11. Hyper Realistic works by Anjaneyulu G

Hyderabad based artist Anjaneyulu G’s oils on canvas evoked a sense of awe in viewers, with the surreal and hyper-real depiction of mundane objects against a large white canvas, that elevates them to an iconic status.

12. Solstice by Shilo Shiv Suleman

Talented artist Shilo Shiv Suleman’s art combines magical realism, technology and social justice. In her exquisite, larger than life installation titled ‘Solstice’, the artist created something resembling an ancient celestial device used to mark distance between planets, combining wood, reflective mirrors and embroidery.

13. Jagannath Panda’s Mixed Media Artwork

Highly acclaimed for his stunning works that depict displacement of humans and animals, Jagannath Panda’s beautiful mixed media painting of an owl (a recurring motif in his art), was displayed at the Vadehra Art Gallery booth, captivating everyone’s attention as they walked by.

14. F.N. Souza Masterpiece

One of India’s most expensive and well-recognized artists, F.N. Souza was the first post-independence artist to achieve high recognition in the West. And his works, whenever they appear in public, create unparalleled excitement. This gigantic 1986 masterpiece by Souza, displayed by Dhoomimal Gallery, showcased his trademark strokes and a large signature across the canvas.

15. Ravinder Reddy’s Fiberglass Sculpture

Eminent sculptor G Ravinder Reddy’s striking fiberglass sculpture with gold leaf, compelled viewers to examine issues of morality and gaze, in these times of state censuring. With the nude and unshapely bodies in the collection, the sculptor also questioned conventional notions of beauty and propriety.

16. Rare Photographs of Amrita Sher-Gil

Presented by Photoink, the Sher-Gil Archives were a series of photographs clicked by acclaimed artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s father, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, who was an amateur photographer. The photographs provided a rare and precious glimpse into the brilliant artist’s life, before she died at the age of 28.

17. Thota Vaikuntam’s Sculptures

Known and loved for his vibrant canvasses that depict realistic rural women and men from Telangana, Thota Vaikuntam surprised viewers with his striking sculptures, presented at the Kalakriti Art Gallery booth. The artist’s distinctive figures came alive in the 3D renditions of his famous rural subjects, denoting an honest and simplistic beauty that he has become so well-known for.

18. Yayoi Kusama’s Works

Yayoi Kusama is a world-renowned Japanese contemporary conceptual artist, who was part of the pop-art movement in the 1960s. The reputed David Zwirner gallery from Hong Kong displayed a collection of her works at the fair, including paintings, sculpture and prints. The bright colours, abstract concepts, and her distinctive use of dots made the display one that was incredibly eye-catching!

19. Vinita Dasgupta’s Rolled Canvas Artworks

Vinita Dasgupta is a young contemporary artist who creates beautiful artworks using a unique, complex style, in which she sticks pieces of painted and rolled canvas on her artworks, giving them a 3-D look. The central character in her artworks is a ‘Story Teller’. While all the works at her solo exhibit at the fair were stunning, 'The Classic Joker' stood out for its composition, colours and subtlety.

20. Untitled Work by Gouri Vemula

Highly detailed and intricate, Gouri Vemula’s work is vividly enriched by her skilled use of the methods of etching and dry point technique, as well as pen and ink drawing. This gorgeous artwork depicts a fantastical scene in a forest, with animals and humans entangled with elements from nature.

21. T.V. Santhosh’s Installation

Presented by The Guild, this thought-provoking installation by T.V. Santhosh reflected on the technological advancements and innovations intended to solve problems, which often end up creating more complications. The resulting chaos is represented in the creation, with different timestamps indicating years in which important world events took place. The digital timer resets every few minutes, pointing to the fact that it’s only a matter of time before another issue presents itself.

22. Xenia Hausner’s Paintings

Austrian artist Xenia Hausner, is globally recognized as a major artist of her generation. And true to her reputation, the artist’s artworks, presented by Galerie Lukas Feichtner from Vienna, stood out with their vivid colours and theatrical expressions, depicting scenes of heightened emotion and catastrophe.

23. The BMW Art Car by Jeff Koons

A tradition that was started in 1975, the BMW Art Car project allows an artist to create a canvas on an automobile. With BMW as a primary sponsor, the India Art Fair has displayed the BMW Art Car at the fair each year, and this year, the car in display was designed by none other than Jeff Koons, famed for his stainless-steel balloon animals. With vibrant colours, the car exuded power and energy, and truly looked like a work of art!

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