About Atul Dodiya paintings
One of the most sought after contemporary Indian artists today, Atul Dodiya was born in Mumbai in 1959 and graduated in Fine Arts from the Sir J. J. School of Arts in 1982. He was passionate about painting from early childhood, encouraged by his liberal and supportive Kathiawadi family
Dodiya came into prominence in 1999 with his series on Mahatma Gandhi, where the artist sought to reconstruct images from a forgotten biography of the leader. With his subtle brushwork and gentle-sepia washed canvas, Dodiya gave Gandhi a new lease of life from the tumultuous pages of history.
Among Dodiya’s other series was the other “Bombay:labyrinth/laboratory” show at the Japan Foundation Asia Center in Tokyo. It included a selection of the artist`s paintings on store shutters, and other works created with ready-made objects, that “reflect his concern with Indian middle-class aspirations and the impact of globalization on traditions underlying each individual reality”, according to the artist.
While Dodiya draws heavily from his historical and socio-political environment, there is a conspicuous lack of western influences in his work, unlike his Modern predecessors. Dodiya delves deep into his roots, rendering his works with bold realism. Using pop art iconography as a binding metaphor, the artist shows the Indian culture’s penchant for the kitsch.
A turning point for the artist was his trip to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. When Dodiya came back, his work had changed and he had dropped his previously practiced mode of photorealism. The result was the “The Bombay Buccaneer”, (1994), a take on the poster for the film `Baazigaar`.
In 1999, the artist won the Sotheby`s Prize for Contemporary Art. A year later, his works were shown at the Tate Museum, London, as part of the exhibition “Centuries Cities: Art And Culture in Modern Metropolis”. At the time, he was one of the only Indian artists whose work was shown at the museum as part of a major exhibition in nine international locations.
Besides having held several solo exhibitions in Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Amsterdam, he has also participated in many group exhibitions, both in India and abroad. Atul Dodiya lives and works in Mumbai.