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Indian artists featured at London Art Fair
With a reputation both for quality and accessibility, London Art Fair is considered the largest Modern British and contemporary art showcase in the UK. In its 21st year, the fair further enhanced it this year, brought together leading galleries, a selection of international projects and an exhibit of contemporary photography in January 2009.

Explaining the broad aim of the fair, the organizers pointed out in a release: “The inclusion of art galleries featuring talented artists at the fair is aimed at enabling dialogue between diverse art practices. It also brings unique insight into changing societies on the other side of the world.”

This year’s glittering line up also included artists from India like Dhruva Mistry, George Martin, Sumedh Rajendran, Rajesh Ram and Chintan Upadhyay, represented by the London based Grosvenor Gallery. Each artist has a unique way of working, reflecting the dynamic, diverse virtues of Indian contemporary art. For instance, the elements within George Martin’s sculptures piece together a visual narrative to suggest an almost majestic reality, always leaving room for further interpretation.

The artist paints a magical view of the world around us, which appears to be spinning at a dizzying speed. When observed closely, his densely populated compositions seem to resonate with the transitory and disunited true nature of our world. His acrylic abstractions exude energy. They present themselves as an ultimate representation of modern urban life. On the other hand, the photo-realism of Rajesh Ram’s paintings and sculptures captures the truth conceptually and as an artistic expression.

His large-format canvases, populated by figures caught up in everyday situations, encourage the viewer to reexamine objects and circumstances that would otherwise seem mundane. The artist’s application of rich, deep colors brings the characters that populate his stories to life.

Sumedh Rajendran’s work is an assemblage of techniques and disparate materials like wood, stone and clay. The tactility of the artist’s meticulously crafted objects prompt the viewer to experience the various shades of emotions and experiences. He deals with diverse ecological and urban issues.

He hints at the broader context of human experience even while exploring the vast scope of sculptural experimentation. He consciously tries to raise awareness about the ‘sad state of current affairs’. His sculptures amalgamate animal, object and human forms, resulting in hybrid species that break down all preconceived notions. His usage of industrial materials transforms them into the organic forms.

Rajesh Ram’s sculptures force us to establish a novel approach to the world around us and seek to find heroism in every day life. He particularly focuses on the economic disparities in India between the rural and urban populations. His ‘hybrid’ creatures, consisting of humans, animals and staple foods force us to review the way in which we perceive these subjects and specifically the issues related to them, in a world which is changing faster than it can handle, to which we are now immune.

The vocabulary of popular culture and consumerism provide Chintan Upadhyay visual cues. He has stated: “I connect my projects with my generation, which is a byproduct of technology, globalization and traditional values.” He resists viewing his work in evolutionary terms, preferring to regard the creation of each work as an independent event proceeding according to its idiosyncratic requirements.

Dhruva Mistry’s creations not only draw from Hinduism and Buddhism but also from the European traditions of figurative sculpture, the Egyptian and the Cycladic art. His works, conceptual in nature, allude to the intellectual debate - implied or expressed - that a work of art premises and/or generates between the artist and viewer. Best known for his sculptures, he stamps them with a rich narrative quality and variety of style, scale and materials such as sand, cement, stone and stainless steel.