Duplicator’s Dilemma| Atul Dodiya

Elisabetta Marabotto of  Saffronart shares a note on Duplicator’s Dilemma, Atul Dodiya’s solo exhibition in Hong Kong

London: 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Hong Kong is currently exhibiting Atul Dodiya‘s first solo show in Hong Kong.

The exhibition brings together a selection of works which combine tradition with modern references. On display is a series of works created on shutter doors paying homage to famous international artists such as Roy Lichtenstein.

“The shutter doors bring the commonly seen Bombay shop fronts into the contemporary art genre. Dodiya uses the duplicity of imagery to play with wild contrasts of scenery. This series combines the metal fronts of the pop art work of Lichtenstein with the deeply expressionistic long and stringy figures of his paintings. A man whose bones can be seen through his skin reads a book, a skull lays by his side. When the door is closed, piercing cartoon like eyes peer with the phrase, “What? Why did you ask that? What do you know about my image duplicator?” Highly original, his works physically add layers of meaning to his works. They can be read half-closed or open as well as fully seeing one image or the other.”

This series was inspired by the sight of small business in Mumbai locked down because of the fear of violence and religious persecution following the bombings in 1993.

Also in the exhibition is a series of black and white drawings representing figures almost floating in a phantasmal and fuzzy reality which subtly engage the audience in a curious dialogue.

Dodiya said about his works: “What is better? The fish inside the water, or the fish outside the water? The mirror reflects reality. Is that reflection real? Is the image which an artist depicts on canvas more real than the image which the viewer sees in reality?

Probably, these are some of the philosophical questions, which arose in the process while looking at Lichtenstein’s ‘Mirror’. Inside-outside, above-below, real-unreal, hidden-revealed, single-double, are these opposites? This is the dilemma with which artists begin and arrive at the discovery of the relativity of the real.

The fine line between art and life gets blurred, to the point where art is overpowering the reality of life. It becomes a game of stepping in and stepping out of the creative space.”

The exhibition is on until January 30, for more information click here.


Experiments with Truth: Atul Dodiya

Ipshita Sen of Saffronart shares a note on Atul Dodiya’s current exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. 

New York: Atul Dodiya, is one of India’s leading and most significant contemporary artists. His solo exhibition ‘ Experiments with Truth’ at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, curated by cultural theorist and poet Ranjit Hoskote, brings together for the first time over 80 works by the artist over his prolific career from 1981-2013. It will also show works made by the artist during his time as a student at the J. J. School of Art in the early 1980’s.

Atul Dodiya at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi<br />Image Source: http://www.platform-mag.com/art/atul-dodiya.html?para=2#article_title

Atul Dodiya at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Image Source: http://www.platform-mag.com/art/atul-dodiya.html?para=2#article_title

The exhibition highlights Dodiya’s versatile artistic practice as he experiments, embraces and explores with various mediums- oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media works, sculpture installations, assemblages and photography. His tendency to work with different media and refusing to stick to a homogenous style is distinctive of Dodiya’s work. It is this ability of working across various mediums and juxtaposing Western art history and popular Indian culture through his work, that marks his oeuvre and makes him one of the most sort after and distinguished contemporary artists in India.

Dadagiri, 1998. Oil, acrylic and marble dust on canvas.<br />Image Source: http://www.gallerychemould.com/news/atul-dodiya-experiments%20with%20truth.html

Dadagiri, 1998. Oil, acrylic and marble dust on canvas.
Image Source: http://www.gallerychemould.com/news/atul-dodiya-experiments%20with%20truth.html

The audience is confronted with a variety of forms and mediums capturing the contrasting nature of change. Dodiya being highly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy puts the exhibition in perspective and forms an invisible string connecting the political, cultural and spiritual contexts in his expansive work. Atul Dodiya’s own artistic journey has been considered as constant experiments with the ‘truth’.

Strong influences of artists such as Nandalal Bose, Benodebehari Mukherjee, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Tyeb Mehta, Gerhard Richter and Bhupen Khakhar can be traced in Atul Dodiya’s art. Works by these masters will also be on display as reference points, enabling the visitor to comprehend Dodiya’s work more effectively.

Atul Dodiya pursued his bachelors of Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of Art in Mumbai. He furthered his academic training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1991 to 1992 subsequent to a scholarship awarded by the French Government. He currently lives and works in Mumbai.

Hema Upadhyay and Atul Dodiya Exhibit in Ohio

Tarika Agarwal discusses the works of two Indian artists who are currently exhibiting in Ohio

Mumbai: The Contemporary Arts Center in Ohio is currently hosting two individual exhibitions of works by Hema Upadhyay and Atul Dodiya. These exhibitions opened in early February, and will go on till 5 May, 2013. The Center is known to provide people an opportunity to discover the dynamic relationship between art and life by exhibiting the works of progressive artists. Their aim is to challenge, entertain and educate.

Hema Upadhyay was born in 1972 in Baroda, India. She has lived and worked in Mumbai since 1998. She uses self-photography and sculptural installations to explore notions of dislocation and nostalgia. Since the early 2000s she has exhibited her work all over the world including Australia, Singapore, Italy, France and the United Kingdom.

In the current exhibition Upadhyay addresses the aesthetic qualities of everyday life via images she has taken of the slums and densely populated areas of Mumbai, India. She is fascinated by urbanization and its effects on Mumbai. The area she has chosen to depict was once an undesirable piece of marshland outside of the city, but as the city started to expand the area was eventually occupied by slums and became a central part of the city. She is drawn to the slums because of how they are little worlds of their own, away from reality while being situated in and around posh neighborhoods. She is also attracted to the aesthetic traits of the slums because the areas are usually marked by the juxtaposition of vibrant colours and diverse materials.

The most mesmerizing work she has exhibited is a piece titled ‘Modernization’. It is an aerial view of a slum on the floor of the gallery made up of the materials that the buildings themselves use – corrugated aluminum sheets, car scrap, enamel paint, tarpaulin, and found objects. She has installed it as a minimalistic patchwork of squares.

Atul Dodiya was born in 1959 in Mumbai, India. He began exhibiting his works in the early 1980s after he graduated from Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai. He later went onto study further at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Dodiya is currently one of the most prominent figures of contemporary Indian Art. Like Upadhyay, he has exhibited his works globally. Dodiya combines both Eastern and Western influences in his installations and paintings through film, popular culture and literature. His works are usually personal since they imbibe his own thoughts with reference to the history of art and his home country, India.

At this show, his work is created on metal shutters of store fronts salvaged from the streets of Mumbai. He wants viewers to interact with the pieces – to open and close the shutters with their original pulley mechanisms in order to experience each in it entirety, as both the front and the interior of the shutter are painted. So don’t feel shy to touch his works, when you decide to go to the exhibition.

The reason Dodiya uses shutters is because in Mumbai, the shutter is a symbol of security and marks the sharp contrast in the aesthetic of the city between day and night. Post sunset or during times of civil unrest, the shutters become a form of armour that protects the various goods of shop owners from the dangers of the outside world.

As there are only two images (one per artist) available from the exhibition, I have taken the liberty to put up images of similar works by both the artists so you can have an idea of what you would get to see if you did attend the show.

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Atul Dodiya at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Josheen Oberoi shares a note on the artist talk given by the renowned artist Atul Dodiya

New York: The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently inaugurated a new series of artist talks with a presentation by the very established and respected contemporary Indian artist Atul Dodiya.  Held on February 13, the talk titled Somersault in Muddy Waters – A Creative Journey took the audience on a trip with the artist, along the many roads his work has traversed. This was an interesting journey to undertake with this artist in particular because of the diversity of his chosen mediums and the complexity of his oeuvre’s visual language. As Darielle Mason (The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art) said in introducing Dodiya, “…his works and he so clearly bridge times, cultures and concepts…”.

Atul Dodiya
Sabari with her Birds, 2005
Lithograph and Chiri Bark paper collage on paper
50 x 40 inches
Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 2007
Image credit: The Philadelphia Museum of Art

The artist began by speaking of the diverse western and Indian artistic traditions that have consciously been a part of his art. Starting with his first solo show from 1989, his talk went through the stages of his artistic processes and mediums. Self-identifying as essentially a painter, he spoke of the varied mediums he has worked in including his world famous shutters, cabinets, and watercolors. A significant component of his talk focused on the importance of Mahatma Gandhi in his life and his pervasive presence in his work, which had culminated in the artist’s 1999 series on the Mahatma titled An Artist of Non-Violence. We were also fortunately able to see a series of delicate watercolors by the artist that have not been shown in public – these are ornithological studies of birds that he said were done for leisure, for relaxation.

The Museum plans to post the talk online and I will update this post with a link when that is available. In the meantime, if you are in Philadelphia, please visit the museum. The work above, Sabari with her Birds, is part of the museum’s collection and is on exhibit for the next six months.

Save the Date: Lecture by Atul Dodiya at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb. 13

Manjari Sihare shares details of an upcoming lecture by contemporary Indian artist, Atul Dodiya

New York: One of the most sought after contemporary Indian artists today, Atul Dodiya will be delivering a lecture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. For those in this part of world or traveling here, please save the date.

4713-AtulDoyidaLectureEblast.100635The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a world renowned collection, and is one of the largest museums in the United States. One of the highlights of the museum is its extraordinary holdings of nearly 3,000 Indian and Himalayan works of art. These include the 1994 bequest of the department’s former curator Dr. Stella Kramrisch, as well as renowned collector and Trustee of the Museum, Dr. Alvin O. Bellak’s 2004 bequest of vibrant Indian ‘miniature’ paintings, among others. In the recent times, the department has also brought modern Indian art to wider audiences, including when it hosted the 2008 exhibition of the work of Nandalal Bose. To learn more about  this collection click here. For location, visiting details for the museum, click here.

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