The India Art Fair in New Delhi ended on Sunday, proving to be a success over previous years despite doubts.
The India Art Fair, the biggest art fair in India, opened on 1st Feb. On 4th Feb, dubbed VIP Day, the event saw 30 percent bigger footfall than last year. The work in limelight was a painting by Anish Kapoor, estimated to be worth $700,00 (by the day’s end, the work remained unsold and on hold). Ai Weiwei, however, sold two paintings collectively for more than $750,000 – both to Indian collectors.
This year, more than 100 exhibitors joined the fair. Smaller artisans and local artists were relegated to smaller booths this year, but the design and crafts booths greatly boosted the fair. A Nacho Carbonell coffee table was sold for $324,000 while a Karl Lagerfeld water fountain fetched $162,000. As far as Indian galleries were concerned, a painting by Rameshwar Broota – and presented by New Delhi-based Vadehra Gallery – was sold for $200,000.
Some concerns were raised about the art fair’s success, given the global downturn in the art scene. There is also increased competition in the South Asian art scene – Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore have launched new art fairs since 2022. Even within India, Art Mumbai emerged last November as an alternative art fair. However, despite all the doubts, the fair proved to be a major event for South Asian art enthusiasts. A major factor behind this is India’s rapid economic growth post-pandemic, which has increased the wealth in private hands.