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Dodiya alludes wittily to Gandhi's gifts as a seasoned politician, as he also does in The Post-dated Cheque, a painting into which he inserts himself among a crowd gathered around Gandhi and Sir Stafford Cripps. Here, Dodiva explores the formal problem of how to paint laughter - figures painted in a state of heightened emotion inevitably assume a mask-like quality, and the laugh nearly always turns into a hollow rictus. Considering the grave events of Partition that were to follow soon after, the laugh as rictus is doubtless the apposite, ominous image here. (Ranjit Hoskote, "Re-imagining Bapu", An Artist of Non-violence, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, pg.24)
About Atul Dodiya - Limited edition offset printsThe collection "Re-Imagining Bapu" includes limited edition prints of paintings from Atul Dodiya’s solo show, “An Artist of Non-violence”, held at Gallery Chemould in 1999. Among the artists and figures who fuelled his artistic creations, Mahatma Gandhi featured in a large body of works. His fascination with Gandhi resulted in a series of works featuring Bapu from the 1980s onwards. As art critic Ranjit Hoskote puts it, Gandhi does not appear in Dodiya’s works as a person in a familiar setting, but as a force to be reckoned with. They showcase Atul’s versatility as an artist, and a “spectrum of moods through which Bapu passed...as a peaceful revolutionary.” (Gallery Chemould exhibition catalogue, 1999)