One of the city’s iconic contemporary artists Atul Dodiya turned the spotlight back on the art practice of Drawing. Refusing the restriction of a particular style, Atul has constantly explored new methods, new spaces, new discourses. Noted for his craftsmanship and technique, the artist provided us new insights into the art of Drawing.
The programme was structured around the exhibition “Taking the Line for a Walk”, which showcased an excellent set of rarely seen drawings from the Jehangir Nicholson collection. This session was conducted in Marathi, with the specific objective of reaching out to and engaging with the considerable Marathi-speaking and reading audience for the arts.
Atul Dodiya is acknowledged as a leader of the younger generation of artists. He was born in 1959 in Mumbai. His personal style uses versatile mediums often referencing various stages in art history, popular visual culture, advertising billboards, nationalist symbols and cinema to create multiple layers of metaphors. He is an alum of the J.J. School of Art since 1982 and École des Beaux-Arts, Paris since 1992.
Atul Dodiya has had approximately 28 solo shows to his credit across the globe including a mid-career retrospective at Japan Foundation Asia Centre, Tokyo in 2001, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid in 2002 and at the Contemporary Arts Centre, Cincinnati, US in 2013.
Popular works of the artist include a self-portrait created in the mid 90’s where he’s represented himself as James Bond; his dark glasses reflecting images of two of his inspirational artists, Bhupen Khakhar and David Hockney. In 1999 Dodiya dedicated an entire exhibition to Mahatma Gandhi titled “An Artist of Non-Violence” interpreting Gandhi’s life to the conceptual art movement.
He began using versatile mediums in 2000 when he started painting on roller shutters.They signified the binaries of the inside world with the outside world and proved to be interactive as the viewer had to roll them up and down. He went back to watercolours with the very expressive ‘Tearscape’ series done in 2001. In 2003, Dodiya created ‘Museum Closets’ with various paraphernalia representing the political and emotional texture of India thus creating in a sense a museum of contemporary history.
Atul Dodiya has received several awards and fellowships in the span of his career, the latest being awarded the GQ Man of the Year award in 2009. He was awarded the gold medal from the Maharashtra Government in 1982 and a Fellowship at Sir J.J. School of Art in 1983. He also received a French Government Scholarship in 1991, the Sanskriti Award in 1995, the Sotheby’s Prize in 1999 and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, Italy in 1999.
Dodiya is represented in several private and public collections all around the world including the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and Mumbai, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmania, Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, Tate Modern, London and Pompidou Centre, Paris.
Atul Dodiya lives and works in Mumbai, India.