FEATURED: Top highlights at India Art Fair 2018

FEATURED: Top highlights at India Art Fair 2018

BY ANANT ART FEBRUARY 20, 2018

By Neha Sankhla

An annual jamboree that became an aperture to the colossal world of modern and contemporary art, the tenth edition of India Art Fair 2018 (from 9th-12th February) was the amalgamation of heterogeneous mediums, idioms, styles and art movements. Acting as a chronicle of art with each passing year, the fair exhibits were sight of the changing nature of visual arts through the expanse from modernism to contemporary, cutting across all the cultural barriers. It served as a binder for art connoisseurs, collectors, students and laymen alike. This year 78 national and international galleries featured the artworks of various artists and Art Project space was a new addition for large scale installations by individual artists supported by different galleries. The following are Anant Art's observations about the top eight artworks and installations at India Art Fair 2018:

Hema Upadhyay

8 x 12 - Hema Upadhyay

From a distance, Hema Upadhyay's installation gives an impression of an ordinary 8 x 12 feet cubicle with cramped shining detailing but upon entering inside the viewer experiences a distinct panoramic view of Asia's biggest slum, Dharavi in Mumbai. The compact orientation of miniature tin houses, high-rise buildings, mosques, temples and other appurtenances of urban development with the narrow space only for depicting roads, communicate the idea of claustrophobic and unhygienic living of slum dwellers in an 8' x 12' feet shack. Using scrap materials such as plastic, aluminium sheets and paints, 8' x 12' is one of the few exhibits where Hema shares her living experience of Mumbai. The installation was supported and presented by Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

Soaring to nowhere- Sudipta Das

Soaring to nowhere- Sudipta Das

Sudipta Das's Art Project 'Soaring to Nowhere', supported by Latitude 28, is constituted of small paper-mache figures suspended in air by thin plastic strands. The rows of coloured figures holding their luggage and accompanied by animals slopes down in a uniform way, touching upon the topic of plight and suffering that comes with migration. Through her installation, Sudipta expresses the identity crisis and displacement of refugees crossing both the cultural and political boundaries while stepping into another land. She also asserts her own identity as a fourth-generation Bangladeshi migrant whose ancestors as refugees adapted to a new life in India with the state of cultural disorientation.

Sounds Good- Sachin Bonde

Sounds Good- Sachin Bonde

'Sounds Good' created by Sachin Bonde and presented by 1 x 1 Art Gallery (Dubai) is a set of ten large white ears made with dental pop accompanied by etching and collage on a brass weighing scale. Here each ear represents a separate country and its economy. This artwork stresses on the idea that Earth has ears and whatever we want, the universe supplements us with that. It also focuses on the constant imbalance the human species is creating due to its unending greed without giving anything back to nature.

Portraits of Home- Sahil Naik

Portraits of Home- Sahil Naik

Sahil Naik's miniature diorama of an abandoned house reminds the viewer of Eddie Puteras scale modelling. The artworks of both the artists resemble old and rusty architecture, but while Eddie fabricates the models for commercial purposes, Sahil's artwork involves much deeper politics of desertion and terror. The four muddled rooms bereft of any human figure or homely liveliness is symbolic of all materialistic possessions that are witnesses of loss and trauma. The word 'home' in the title then turns out to be an insignificant one devoid of all its meaning attached to it. 'Portraits of home' was presented and exhibited by Experimenter, Kolkata.

Shadow-3- Shilpa Gupta

Shadow-3- Shilpa Gupta

Shilpa Gupta's interactive Art Project 'Shadow 3', presented by The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA), drives the spectators to engage with her video projection. Unlike the other artworks, her installation requires people to participate by doing individual actions which are then reflected onto a big screen. The latter, with some music in the background is frequented by silhouettes of various unrecognizable objects that gradually weigh down the reflected shadows.

While there can be multiple interpretations of her installation, Shilpa's art project primarily communicates to the viewer a wider picture of environmental problems. This idea germinated after the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference a decade ago and mentions "how we as a species won't be able to bear the weight of our footprint on the planet."

Sadvertisements-I, II & III- Priyesh Trivedi

Sadvertisements-I, II & III- Priyesh Trivedi

After the cult creation 'Adarsh Balak' that garnered much attention on social networking sites, 'Sadvertisements-I, II & III' is another artwork that reflects Priyesh Trivedi's satirical take on print culture, created using gouache on paper. This time the gallows humour is dropped on vintage print advertisements with the incorporation of issues like dejection, ignorance and death with primary focus on consumerism and capitalism. In these paintings, the artist deceives the viewer with sugar-coated visuals while the text presents the actual idea he wants to publicize in a manner of parody. Produced this year, these artworks were presented by Shrine Empire.

The Street as Studio- Cop Shiva

The Street as Studio- Cop Shiva

Just like his unusual name, Cop Shiva's photographic segment showcased his deviant skills which brought studio photography outside of those compact spaces of studios into the streets. 'The Street as Studio', presented by Art Heritage, is a series of nine photographs where the backdrop murals are either juxtaposing or accentuating the presence of the subjects. The way photographers use the props to heighten a photograph's aesthetic sensibilities, in that similar way most of the subjects in these photographs have been holding different paraphernalia that harks back to the modus operandi of studio photography.

˜Objects of Desire- G Ravinder Reddy

˜Objects of Desire- G Ravinder Reddy

G Ravinder Reddy's Art project, presented by THE LOFT and supported by Emami Art, showcases three nude reliefs of women flaunting their sexuality and attracting the gaze of the onlookers. Without any sign of ignominy, the women show the comfort of their own skin and colour devoid of any conventional standards. The sculptures 'Woman' relief-II, ˜Woman relief-I and 'Kamakshi on teapoy' were forged using polyester resin fibre glass and painted brown, blue and golden respectively. The provocative posture and placement of the women challenges the male gaze and questions the issues of 'morality and gaze' in this age of censorship.

Anant Art @ India Art Fair 2018

PC - Ria Sarkar & Neha Sankhla

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