Atul Dodiya

Atul Dodiya was Born in 1959,in Mumbai. He received his Diploma in Fine Arts from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1982. He was presented with the Sanskriti Award from the New Delhi-based Sanskriti Foundation, in 1995. In 1991-92, he received the French Government Scholarship and in 1999, Italy's Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship.

A virtuoso painter and watercolourist, he became known through a series of works which could be described as hyperrealist and which showed a certain fascination with the popular imagery of his country. However, he soon gave up that path to explore wider possibilities. In the mid 90’s, he started a series of allegorical paintings with superimposed images, full of allusions to popular culture, Hinduism, the history of art and of his country, and his own biography. Since then, his work has adopted a succession of different styles which prove that for him technique is not a fetishistic resource. It is rather that Dodiya uses his great talents to return to painting the possibility of dealing with complex issues using images which are nevertheless enigmatic and metaphorical. Ultimately, his work is a form of political art, although removed from unanimous visions and didactic discourses.

His early years were spent against a relatively static background, with little emotional upheaval. This necessarily leant a certain flat-ness to his paintings, restricted as they were to the portrayal of his social environment. Having mastered the skill of depiction, and bored by the repetitiveness, he began to innovate. He says, "I had depicted enough of quiet, middle-class, suburban living." Having assimilated his early experiences, he was able to experiment with free flowing thought, examining his conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind to develop an individual insight that seeks a unique expression. For him, objects are always against a background, foreground or mid-ground, and his paintings pay complete attention to detail. Nothing is there by chance, only because of conscious thought, and so, nothing remains inexplicable.

The visual wit displayed in his paintings arises from his quiet humour. He remarks that his name and photograph appearing in newspapers and magazines has served a purpose. He no longer feels obliged to waste time offering lengthy explanations to friends and neighbours about the importance of his work. They now accept that what he does also has value. He does not sign his own name on his paintings, simply because he finds it unnecessary.

Dodiya's work displays a sense of balance in contradictions. Despite the personal significance behind each and every object, there is a complete absence of self-obsession. His paintings reveal the transparency of his nature. Ask him if he is proud of his achievements. "Yes, I am very proud," he says with astonishing candidness and without the slightest trace of pride.

The work of Atul Dodiya, transits between painting, assemblage and installation, weaving political critique through aesthetic innovation, at once learned and passionate.

Some of his prominent exhibitions have been India Contemporary Art', at the World Trade Center, in Amsterdam, in 1989, at the Gallery Apunto, Amsterdam, in 1993. 'Indian Contemporary Paintings' in London, 1995 and 'Bombay: Labyrinth/Laboratory', at the Japan Foundation Asia Center in Akasaka, 2001. Since 1989, he has had numerous solo exhibitions including Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, CIMA, Calcutta, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, The Fine Art Resource, Berlin, Walsh Gallery, Chicago and BosePacia Modern, New York. Museum exhibitions (solo) include E.T. and the Others held at Espacio Uno, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2002; and Bombay: Labyrinth/Laboratory at The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Tokyo,2001.

Group exhibitions include Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, The Asia Society, New York, and other venues, 2004-06; Masala: Diversity & Democracy in South Asian Art, William Benton Museum of Art, Connecticut, 2004; sub Terrain, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2003; Under the Skin of Simulation (with Surendran Nair and Shibu Natesan), The Fine Art Resource, Berlin, 2003; New Indian Art: Home-Street-Shrine-Bazaar-Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, 2002; Yokohama Triennale, 2001; Out of India: Contemporary Art of the South Asian Diaspora, Queens Museum of Art, New York, 1997; and Epic Reality: Contemporary Narrative Painting from India, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Texas, 1997.

Dodiya lives and works in Mumbai.

Artwork for Sale

Ancestor with black pot, 2007
by Atul Dodiya

Size:

30 X 22 inches

Malevich Matters
by Atul Dodiya

Size:

96 X 60 inches

Sabari Stretching, 2007
by Atul Dodiya

Size:

29 X 21 inches

The Needle - Appalique I, 2000
by Atul Dodiya

Size:

70 X 45 inches

Untitled
by Atul Dodiya

Size:

30 X 24 inches