Less than a month from now, you will witness how effortlessly light bends in the meditative portraits by Tom Vattakuzhy or muse at the embroidery-inspired miniatures by Sanket Viramgami, all within close proximity of each other. Taking over the members’ enclosure at Mahalaxmi Racecourse, the city’s first-of-a-kind Art Mumbai fair shall be a labyrinth of modern paintings and crafted antiquities from India and South Asia. You will be practically wading through a dizzying array of close to 53 homegrown and foreign galleries, scaled down to fit the perimeter of a single venue. Don’t be surprised if you are swept away with the unstoppable cavalcade of contemporary subcontinental art that is swarming over the globe today.
"With Mumbai at the centre of a cultural movement, we believe that there’s never been a better time nor place to launch a fair of this kind," co-founder Dinesh Vazirani elucidates. According to a by Grant Thornton Bharat and Indian Art Investor, this year has been a record-breaking one for auction houses, yielding a turnover of 1,145.5 Crore Rupees with a 9% increase. The post-pandemic resurgence in collecting is not merely a New Delhi-based phenomenon, as patrons of the India Art Fair last year would have us believe, after all the 'maximum city' was legendary ground zero for virtuosos from the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG). Having successfully sold out a winter auction last year through their portal saffronart.com featuring household names like — one of the enfants terribles of PAG — power couple Minal and Dinesh Vazirani are undeniably convinced in Mumbai's fecundity to produce modern masters.
For the uninitiated, taking in so much visual stimulation at once can be daunting at first, but an art fair is really the best place to start building your own eclectic collection. Prodigious in their own backyard, galleries like TARQ and Nature Morte will be showcasing alongside international front runners like Grosvenor (London), Aicon Contemporary (New York) and Volte (Dubai). In keeping up with the epoch of accelerated globalisation, this scale of exposure will help the exhibiting artists forge lucrative connections with critics and connoisseurs, eventually injecting much needed capital into the host city's economy. Typically fair organisers often hold a stake in providing an immersive experience with the music, hors d'oeuvres and meticulous curation. As such, in addition to the galleries, Art Mumbai will feature thought-provoking panel discussions presented by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. These will explore the undulating multimedia landscapes and witness how cutting-edge technologies, including virtual reality and more, are remoulding the creative ecosystem.
The brainchild of a dynamic team including director Teesta Bhandare in synergy with co-founders Nakul Dev Chawla and Conor Macklin, Art Mumbai aspires to be a celebration of community that unites industry insiders, first-time buyers and cultural tastemakers. As the fair draws near, the excitement is palpable, and the countdown is officially underway. Don't forget to explore the sculpture garden and myriad, other digital installations that lie in wait for your discerning gaze.
Dates: November 17-19, 2023
Time: 11AM - 7PM
Venue: Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Member’s Enclosure.
Buy Your Tickets here.
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