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Art galleries are placing their bets on solo shows at the India Art Fair 2013.
Solo contenders always attract eyeballs and the India Art Fair is no different. Those who visited the fair last year will recall how Dilip Chobisa did the job for Latitude 28 and at Apparao Galleries Gautam Bhatia's sculptures of Indian politicians were crowd-pullers. Not all in India were familiar with New York-based Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic, but her work was not just appreciated at the booth of London's Lisson Gallery, it brought commercial success as well.
" Presenting a solo allows for focus," notes Neha Kirpal, founder-director of India Art Fair. At the fair, she has provisions for solo artists as their numbers have been rising. If the fair boasted of 13 solos last year, in its fifth edition this year, 18 galleries have opted for a solo stall, which is in addition to solo art projects that dot corridors at the fair. "It indicates that people are confident about the fair and the artist," adds Kirpal.
So while a range of artwork will be showcased at general booths at the fair which begins today - with more than 3,000 works of art ó the solo projects too will cover a broad spectrum, from veterans to contemporary biggies and the up-and-coming. If Kolkata's Akar Prakar will showcase works of Somnath Hore, Sakshi Gallery will have solos by KG Subramanyan and Rekha Rodwittiya at two booths. Dhoomimal Gallery will present select works of Hardik Dikshit and Jamini Roy in a rare solo of the Bengali artist. "Everyone shows the same set of artists, a solo has impact and tends to stand out," notes Uday Jain, director of Dhoomimal Gallery, who has curated works of Roy from his grandfather's personal collection.
Mumbai's Priyasri Art Gallery's booth will display the recent work of modernist Akbar Padamsee. Comprising 10 recent oils, 12 watercolours and 12 lithographs, this will also feature a work from his popular Mirror Image series. "His oils are being exhibited in Delhi after almost a decade, so it seemed appropriate to bring him to the fair that will have connoisseurs from world over. It's a complete body of work," says gallerist Priyasri Patodia.