DP Art Guide: 6 Artists Not To Miss At India Art Fair 2024

  • 30 Jan '24
  • 3:31 pm by Urvi Kothari

Amidst a swing of preparation for exhibitors, gallerists and artists, art connoisseurs wait in anticipation to experience the biggest edition yet comprising a whopping 108 exhibitors. Previewing on February 1, India Art Fair 2024,the four-day festival will showcase masterpieces from Indian modernists to emerging artists alongside contemporary masters of traditional arts and renowned diasporic South Asian artists. The fair has been central to the conversations and relationships that have shaped the arts and culture landscape in the South Asian Region.

“Our aim is to continue growing our family of not just artists, gallerists and collectors, but also culture shapers at large. This is also the rationale for our inaugural Design section at the fair this year, featuring pioneering design studios from India and beyond, who blur the boundaries between art and design with their unique and deeply thoughtful work.”, says Jaya Asokan, the fair director. As we stand a week away from the fair, DP curates a guide of what to expect at the celebratory 15th edition of IAF

Also Read: This Art Residency Space In Delhi Evolves In Harmony With Nature At This Architectural Gem

Thukral & Tagra, Prototype of Mimesis for IAF 15, 2024, 476 unique artworks made for IAF, (Courtesy of Thukral & Tagra & IAF)

#1 ‘Memesis’ by Thukral & Tagra (India Art Fair Façade)

With striking colours, dramatic designs, and intriguing compositions, the IAF façade continues to be a spectacle for the fair visitors. In this era of large data sets and high speed algorithms, Delhi based duo Thukral & Tagra present the tent as a canvas for coloured pixels embarking on an infinite journey of visualising data as an artistic endeavour. “For IAF, we wanted to imagine units, as we all think of a collection in terms of date, time, artwork, audiences, artists, and patrons. We see these unique numbers as data sets, each speaking to the enormity of practices, ideas, and materials that have passed through IAF in the past fifteen years and counting”, share the duo. 

Thukral & Tagra x Chamar Studio, Prototype of the bags upcycled from IAF façade, 2024, (Courtesy of Thukral & Tagra & IAF)

With an endeavour to support sustainable art practices, they have collaborated with Chamar Studio, Mumbai. This initiative will help repurpose the façade into carry-able handbags. “We want this edition of mimesis to begin a continuous cycle of thought as objects honed to bodies across time and space”, they add. 

Karishma Swali & Chanakya School of Craft, Belong, (Courtesy of Chanakya School of Craft)

#2 ‘Belong’ by Karishma Swali & Chanakya School of Craft (Booth I01)

The infinite potential of Indian crafts has gained more recognition over the years. Karishma Swali has been an integral personality in this endeavour of safeguarding the richness and diversity of Indian traditions. “Through this presentation, our endeavour is to honour the  profound role craft plays in preserving our collective heritage and nurturing communities.”  says Karishma Swali, Creative Director of Chanakya School of Craft. For their debut launch at IAF, the Chanakya School presents ‘Belong,’ crafted works that explore the transformative power of nature and the deep connection between the human form and the natural world. The pastoral hued sun-kissed compositions dive deep into ideas such as the inner and external consciousness, the harmonic state of existentialism of all beings as well as the unyielding spirit of the feminine. 

Apart from this presentation, Chanakya School will also be showcasing French- Cameroonian artist Barthélémy Toguo in collaboration with Galerie Lelong Paris at Villa Swagatam (Booth L02) as well as French contemporary artist, Eva Jospin in collaboration with Gallery Continua (Booth E04).

Also read: The Indian Craft Glossary – 25 Words You Must Know

Ashiesh Shah Atelier, Naga Chair, Cast aluminium and elephant grass, (Courtesy of Ashiesh Shah Atelier)

#3 Ashiesh Shah Atelier (Booth G04)

Ashiesh Shah’s recent collection draws inspiration from the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, as his design objects embody the perfection within the imperfection. “The creative ecosystem thrives on the integration of experimentation, craftsmanship, and technique, drawing together a community of design thinkers. His collectively crafted works blend traditional artisanship with modern contemporary sensibilities. “Atelier’s essence revolves around geometry and materiality, driven by a relentless commitment to the design process,” he shares. 

Studio Renn, Strangler Ring, Acid-treated concrete ring
reinforced with an organic structure made of 18K gold and diamonds, (Edition 5/5), (Courtesy of Studio Renn)

#4 ‘Material Studies’ by Studio Renn (Booth G02)

This year the fair pushes the envelope of art and design with the inclusion of a jewellery studio. Juxtaposing diamonds against discarded wood, acid treated concrete, limestone blackened and greyed gold, the studio redefines the conventional notion of jewellery into a well sculpted wearable art. Titled as ‘Material Studies,’their latest collection gives viewers an insight into a material-agnostic approach towards design and the process behind it. “Our works are physical manifestations of ongoing creative explorations and dialogues. Artists and other creative hands and minds are part of our creative consciousness”, shares Rahul Jhaveri, who is one half of Studio Renn. 

(L) Nacho Carbonell, Lily Pad Tree,2018, (Photo credits: Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt, Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery); (R) Studio Raw Material, Rock Paper Scissors floor lamp, (Courtesy of Studio Raw Material)

#5 ‘Querencia’ at Carpenters Workshop Gallery (Booth no E05)

Another debutant, Carpenters Workshop Gallery collaborates with designer Ashiesh Shah as they present a curation under the theme of Querencia – a Spanish word that describes ‘home’ as a source of strength and inspiration. “The selection process involves a careful curation of pieces that personally resonate with me. I choose those that I perceive as pivotal, combining them with select works from Atelier”, shares Ashiesh Shah. The curated selection of artists includes seasoned international maestros such as Wendell Castle, Nacho Carbonell, Ingrid Donat, and Karl Lagerfeld. “It’s impossible to ignore the majestic beauty and rich cultural history of India; it’s always been a territory we’ve been intrigued by, and we hope to garner further understanding of its history and how it can inform the perspective of the gallery going forward,” says Loic Le Gaillard, founder of CWG.

Also read: An Insight Into STAMBH – An Exquisite Exhibition Of 21 Divine Pillars By Ashiesh Shah

Model Photograph of the JNU Administration Building, Model Photograph, (Courtesy of CP Kukreja Foundation of Design Excellence)

#6 ‘The Masterplan’ at CP Kukreja Foundation of Design Excellence (Booth K02)

Curated by Vishal K Dar, the foundation will be showcasing a commemorative exhibition celebrating fifty years of Jawaharlal Nehru University. From half a decade old archival hand drawn master plans to models, the showcase shares the journey of collective spaces and the history of modern India. “The exhibition brings into discussion the role of the architect in nation building. Where most major universities of the world define their presence through the regimental and the classical forms of imposition, JNU’s Masterplan expresses an absence of the built. Like water, the building finds its way into the landscape” shares Vishal K Dar. The curation has been imagined as a studio inside a pavilion that is both didactic and experiential. 

A playground for the leading South Asian and international voices, IAF15 will be a masterfully curated visual treat. The debut design section is a testament to a cultural shift as limited-edition collectibles, indigenous crafts, unconventional art mediums and much more find a place of prominence across the country’s leading private collections.