28 July, 2021

Dude Ascending A Stair

Vibrant, eclectic, democratic—the India Art Summit catches fire

Dude Ascending A Stair

The tinge of green, however pale, was unmistakable: and, as mandated by tradition, it spelled envy. The socialite habitue—and occasional patroness—of the arts scene in Mumbai let out a long sigh on opening night in the cavernous hall of Pragati Maidan. “We are losing it in Bombay. Delhi is so, so happening...” her voice trailed off as she took in the palpable buzz at the India Art Summit, for which scores of Indian and seventeen international galleries had set up shop.

It was a lament I was to hear repeatedly from several gallerists and the arterati of Mumbai, many of whom had reluctantly come down last week for the second edition of this art mela. (Yes, mela. There was a seminar-fest, too, but that was really for the brahmins of the art world: attendance was prohibitively expensive, and all the action and raison d’etre of this three-and-a-half day happening was elsewhere—in the market.)

The initial reluctance on the part of Mumbaikars...

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