About Us

India Art Festival, a contemporary art fair founded in 2011 is a new model for dialogue and collaborations between art galleries, art dealers, art buyers, artists, interior designer, architects and art connoisseurs who come together every year under roof. India Art Festival (IAF) along with mid-level and major art galleries also provides the opportunity to emerging, independent artists to get discovered and enjoy the attention along with the established artists.

IAF also features curated ‘Conversations’ a two-days educative seminar – a series of panel discussions offering expert perspectives on the subjects ranging from the contemporary art and the economy, art collection, exhibitions, to art galleries and infrastructure. The speakers invited at IAF Conversations include artists, gallerists, museum directors, critics, historians, institution-builders, cultural organizers, editors, and publishers.

India Art Festival, the only contemporary art fair in India hosting three annual editions at Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru positions itself today as a successfully tested module of art fair with a focus on both – art galleries and independent artists.

India Art Festival group ‘in-house’ art publication ‘Indian Contemporary Art Journal’ published since 2007 started inducting unrepresented and marginalized radical visual voices from every nook and corner of the country in the mainstream Indian art marketplace. IAF Artists’ Pavilion is a sort of talent hunt contest to discover hidden gems in visual arts from rural and urban parts of India. This also facilitates to offer numerous art choices to Indian art buyers. Acknowledged for its simple and unbiased presentation of visual art, IAF has been changing the way audience view, buy and sell art.

Every year IAF hosts over 700+ artists and 50 art galleries from across India and Asian sub-continent, showcasing stimulating original artworks, prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, lithographs, installations and more – all under one roof at Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi, Nehru Centre, Mumbai and now CKP Art Complex, Bengaluru. 

Since its first edition in 2011, IAF successfully initiated the process of democratizing Indian art market at two levels – first by mingling rural artists with the metro-bred highly articulate urban artists and second by creating simple but refreshing ambience for very ‘art viewing, buying and selling’ process outside the confines of unapproachable art spaces.

At IAF we are passionate about helping promote art galleries, art dealers, online art galleries and independent artists. Apart from four days India art festival editions at Mumbai, New Delhi, & Bengaluru, India Art Festival with all participating art galleries and artists’ exhibitors in 500 booths along with their artworks is available online at www.eindiaartfestival.com for year around viewing, buying and selling; www.eindiaartfestival.com (eIAF) is online art fair which creates a powerful synergy of IAF and eIAF and its media campaign throughout the year, thereby expanding the art patronage to new heights.

During covid pandemic, our commitment as a cultural organiser compelled us to find the alternative way to ‘showcase’ art and reach to arts audiences in the safe environment of their homes and offices. The virtual edition of India Art Festival at www.indiaartfest.in creates incredible experience of viewing art in 3D booth with immersive experience, features to chat with participating art galleries and artists, and online buying.  

Rajendra

Founder and Managing Director, India Art Festival Editor, Indian Contemporary Art Journal | President, The Bombay Art Society

Being an art writer first, I am tempted not to pen my biographical note in the third person to describe my take in the art world. B. Sc-Industrial Electronics, B. Tech-Power Electronics, DBM-Marketing, M. A – Ancient Indian Culture, are few conceptually clashing academic degrees acquired from Pune and Mumbai universities helped me sail through my checkered career started in 1995 with a series of jobs and profession changeovers before reaching equilibrium with visual arts in 2008, thanks to my brush with 100+ ‘artists in the making’ during my hostel days itself in Mumbai while doing engineering!

Along with decently paid job in the engineering sector, I started the parallel career as an art writer in 1995 visiting art galleries uninvited like most other art writers would have done. I wrote art reviews extensively on art exhibitions in English and Marathi published through various weekly columns in different newspapers and magazines from 1995 till 2008. This is where I came close to thousands of artists who exhibited at Jehangir Art Gallery and other private galleries in Mumbai. I have had an opportunity to edit Bombay Art Society’s Art Journal from 2004 till 2008 and have one-to-one interviews with more than 300 artists including masters, mid-career and emerging ones. I am fortunate to have received guiding lessons by the great souls, art scholars like Late Prafulla Dahanukar and Dr Saryu Doshi while working with them on the management committees of The Bombay Art Society and Artists’ Centre, the oldest art institutions in the Asian sub-continent.

It was in 2008 I decided to leave everything and take a full plunge in the art world; I started quarterly art magazine ‘Indian Contemporary Art Journal’ in 2008 which many called crazy decision as the great recession around the world was looming large by then. During the time, I was closely associated with the Bombay Art Society (BAS –founded in 1888); BAS used to organise big annual art exhibition in the entire Jehangir Art Gallery and used receive 2000+ entries from artists from all over India; it is an oldest annual art show happening since 1888. The idea of India Art Festival too germinated in the office of Bombay Art Society at Jehangir art gallery in 2010 when Late Prafulla Dahanukar was the president of BAS and Dr Saryu Doshi was Vice-President. It was Prafulla Dahanukar who encouraged me to take initiative and plan a bigger exhibition in Mumbai that will be the open platform for all.

Early exposure to visual arts, understanding Indian art scene through grassroots level associations and deep insights culled from umpteenth discussions with thousands of unknown, lesser known and renowned artists, writers and gallerists friends in twenty five years of my writing career helped me initiate, nurture and position India Art Festival, as it stands today – 16 editions in Mumbai and New Delhi and one edition at Seoul, South Korea. 

Minakshi Patil

Hon. Director

Minakshi Patil, a gold-medalist at M.A-Marathi Literature & Aesthetics from Mumbai University has been instrumental in exploring the creative expression and inquiry at the crossroads of visual art, poetry and music. In order to explore how poetry responds to the visual arts, and the visual arts reacts to poetry and influence each other, Minakshi has mounted many fusion shows since 2004 bringing poets, artists, musicians together. The symphonic co-existence of visual art and poetry has seen wonderfully creative results at the fusion shows Minakshi has organised at India Art Festival as an extended part of collateral events beyond two days IAF Conversations.

Minakshi, herself an artist, poet-writer and documentary

filmmaker juggles with multiple disciplines. Her documentary film on ‘Social impact of climate change’ has won accolades and was selected in World Bank competition’ as top 15 documentaries in hundreds of entries from the world over. Her poetry collection book ‘Is it in your DNA’ is published by Abhidhanantar Publication. Minakshi’s creative and analytical writings, poems, essays have been published in various newspapers and literary magazines since 1995 and her poems are included in the senior college art faculty curriculum of SNDT University, Mumbai. This broad spectrum of her personal and creative life generated in her a kind of aesthetic commitment that is reflected in her poetry, paintings and social projects like India Art Festival.

Advisory Board

Unlike business entities, the IAF management is different format since the beginning and is based on the patterns of art institutional hierarchy. When IAF was launched in 2011, it was decided to form an advisory board /management committee which was headed by Dr Saryu Doshi as a president, Late Prafulla Dahanukar as a Chairman, Anupa Mehta was advising on marketing and VIP relations and Rajendra, currently managing director, being a director then was entrusted to

implement all the plans and strategies discussed collectively by advisory board. Ranjit Hoskote has also been part of the advisory board who programmed IAF Conversations for many years and made “IAF Conversations” eagerly awaited enlightening discourse for artists, art gallerists, art collectors, academicians, art historians etc. The IAF advisory board composed of senior artists, institution builders, art critics, historians, gallerists and businesspersons gets reshuffled year-on-year basis. Arpana Caur, Nisha Jamvwal, Subhash Awachat, Siddharth Tagore, Sara Arakkal, Avni Rao, Dr Deepak Kannal and many others have been part of IAF advisory board from time to time. The real IAF plans/strategies come from experts in the art world, which are implemented and executed with the help of flexible office team, and regional experts.

The institutional hierarchy is not only reflected in IAF management, but India Art Festival itself is a project of social commitment initiated by socially committed individuals working with different art institutions for decades. India Art Festival pays attention to improvement in the quality of art being displayed at the art festival; though our directive principles germinated from our institutional backgrounds appeals our conscience to be balanced and accommodative towards unrepresented sections like independent artists while judging their work on a set benchmark.

Dr-Saryu-Doshi
Dr Saryu Doshi

President

Dr Saryu Doshi, art historian, research scholar, editor and curator started her career as a visiting professor at University of Michigan, USA (Jan to April 1976).

Ranjit-Hoskote-Portrait-by-Nancy-Adajania
Ranjit Hoskote

Convenor, IAF Conversations

Ranjit Hoskote is a cultural theorist, curator and poet. He is the author of 30 books, including Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 (Penguin, 2006)

 
Prafulla
Late Prafulla Dahanukar

Chairperson, India Art Festival

(2011 – 2014 till she passed away in March 2014)

Prafulla Dahanukar (1934-2014) was born in 1934; she studied fine art at Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai