The fair, one of the largest arts fair in the country, had in its sixth edition, which ended on February 2, showcased over 1000 artists from India and across the world displaying their painting, sculptures, digital art, photography installations and performance art.
    
"How much is this work? Do you think the price will go up if I buy this," one visitor was overheard inquiring about a very recent water colour by artist Arpita Sinha displayed at the Vadehra Art Gallery at the Fair.
    
The visitor, a woman, referred to an auction some years ago where a mural by Arpita had fetched a whooping price making her the first woman artist of her generation to come up in the top auction bracket.
    
"The prices in the auction market are very different from the ones that are sold by galleries," pointed out the bemused gallery owner.

Another visitor, a collector of modern Indian masters, wanted to add to his collection and spent time peering over works by F N Souza at various Indian galleries.
    
"We find that there are many old buyers at this edition to the Art Fair. Most of the interest and buyers was for Souzas. There were works priced between Rs 3.5 lakhs to Rs 10 lakh. A surprise for us was K S Kulkarni's works for which we received a lot of interest," Uday Jain, Director, Dhoomimal Gallery said.
    
The gallery said they had made sales around Rs 40-45 lakhs and were still receiving inquiries. Anjolie Ela Menon had curated a section by Krishen Khanna, Manjit Bawa, M F Husain, H A Gade and Rameshwar Broota among others.

Delhi-based Crayon also reported sales of Souza. "Our Souzas sold the most. They were priced between Rs 7.5 lakhs to Rs 80 lakh. Till now, we have sold a total of 8 pieces of artwork," said the gallery representative.

International galleries too reported sales. Carlos Gabrel Munes of the Gallery said they were getting buyers from UK, US and Belgium, and that people from Delhi and Bangalore are also interested in the artworks.

New York and London based Aicon Gallery said they sold works by Husain and Souza, and G K Irani. The sales ranged from Rs four lakh to Rs 1.5 crore. 1X1 Art gallery from Dubai, which showed works by Nemai Gosh, Satyajit Ray and Benod Behari Mukherjee, said they had sold ‘six to seven works’.
    
Works of international artists like Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Miro and Mark Rothko also interested many visitors. "We have received a lot of inquiries about Warhol and the other artists," said one of the international galleries showing Warhol.
    
Other notable projects, which drew the visitors, included artist Dayanita Singh’s ‘File Room’ series which was shown this year at the Venice Biennale.

Riyas Komus, the founder of Kochi Biennale, displayed his installation ‘My Grief’. Anish Kapoor's iconic Absolut bottle also premiered at the fair. A group of three visitors were seen discussing the problem of transport if they had to buy the towering sculpture project ‘Agalma’ by Anjana Kothamachu, one of the set of 24 installations shown at the fair.

For many children, who towed along with their parents, the fair was a sheer delight.

“You should let them know if you don't like the work,” one mom was seen discussing with her son about how to clinch deals. The son had been watching a TV show that gave tips on making deals.

"People are still hesitant on buying works in several lakhs. We just have to wait for a couple of more years for the market to mature," Galleriest Uday Jain said.

While many galleries and artists were returning for the second or third time there were other first time participants.

A group of gallery owners, artists and collectors visited the fair.

Akshi, a student of the Arts College, Chandigarh, said, “I was a bit disappointed by the display this time. I felt there was a lot of repetition this time. For instance, I had come to see more of the new media art. I felt there was little experimentation.”

(Agencies)

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