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BerandaLifestyleArt & CultureAmid an Increasingly Competitive Fair Calendar, India Art Fair Reports Strong Sales...

Amid an Increasingly Competitive Fair Calendar, India Art Fair Reports Strong Sales and Large Crowds

The conclusion of the 15th edition of the India Art Fair (IAF) in New Delhi on February 4 saw an increased success compared to last year’s iteration, with the fair reporting a 30 percent uptick in visitors on the VIP day. Many galleries reported buzzing sales and strong pricing, with interest from both Indian private collectors and institutions from across South Asia. oriqq

While the global art market has recently faced headwinds, the Indian art market has seemingly only strengthened post-pandemic, buoyed by the country’s robust economic growth, a significant increase in private wealth, and a concurrent boom in real estate. This has been further boosted by a sharp increase in private philanthropy in the arts, resulting in many new private museums and corporate-backed art foundations.

But the art fair landscape in Asia has become more crowded in the past several years, with new fairs debuting in Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore since fall 2022. Add to this that the India Art Fair is no longer the country’s only major art fair, with Art Mumbai’s debut last November. That has forced gallerists and collectors to prioritize which fairs to attend. But this year’s India Art Fair proved that it is still an essential one for the global fair calendar, as the VIP Day was jam-packed with overflowing crowds during the weekend, forcing the fair to impose visitor management measures.

One way the fair sought to combat increased competition was to scale up the fair’s number of exhibitors to more than 100. But, there were clear signs of growing pains as several additions this year, including booths for institutions and a focus on craft and traditional arts, led to many local contemporary galleries being squeezed into either smaller booths or suboptimal locations and layouts. oriqq

View of design objects in an art fair booth.
Carpenter Workshop Gallery’s booth at the India Art Fair.PHOTO ANINDO SEN FOR ARTNEWS

To differentiate itself from other regional fairs, the IAF turned to exhibitors specializing in design, inviting international leaders like Carpenters Workshop Gallery and de Gournay and top Indian ones like Atelier Ashiesh Shah, Vikram Goyal, Gunjan Gupta, and Rooshad Shroff.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery had an impressive debut at the fair, selling all of their large-scale pieces on the VIP day. Sales highlights included a Nacho Carbonell coffee table going for more than €300,000 ($324,000), a Karl Lagerfeld water fountain for €150,000 ($162,000), and several pieces by the Verhoeven Twins, including a Cinderella table in Carrara marble for just under €300,000 ($324,000) and their prismatic bubble-based work for a more accessible €20,000 Euros ($21,500).

“What is really heartening is that they have been acquired by individual Delhi- and Mumbai-based collectors, showing an appetite for the aesthetic that we have presented to the Indian audience,” Loïc le Gaillard, the gallery’s cofounder, told ARTnews. oriqq