Anju and Atul Dodiya talked about their craft, the various influences on their artistic practice and subtle ways in which each has impacted the other's work. Their presentations provided us with another perspective on the exhibition "The Journey is the Destination" of which their work is a part.
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 since1982 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.
Anju Dodiya is born in Mumbai in 1964. She graduated from the JJ School of Art in 1986. She is a one of India’s most important contemporary artists.
Dodiya’s early works were abstract and following her first show “A Fictional Autobiography”, she tried to refocus her gaze on railway stations, roadside scenes and so forth. But ultimately she found her original impulse of a painterly introspection as her strongest inspiration and rechanneled her vision into describing situations from her life.
She creates expressive watercolors layered with images and symbolism. Her art is rooted in the figurative, drawing inspiration from a range of artists including poet Sylvia Plath, filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, and Early Renaissance masters Piero della Francesca and Giotto. Bold patterns and vivid colors of Medieval French tapestries and Japanese woodblock prints also influence her works. Often autobiographical, her works reveal her interest in self-reflection and the process of self-discovery. Though primarily a painter, Dodiya has also produced intricate installations involving embroidered mattresses and shards of broken mirror.
The majority of her works give the viewer access to moments lifted from “the private discourse that goes on within oneself when one is alone”. Anju’s self keeps recurring in the changing pictorial contexts. These are inward looking investigations with a keen sense of self-awareness and introspection. Her works compel the viewer to unravel stories of the female protagonists, yet they don’t reveal the full narrative. Dodiya continually creates her own legends that are often self-disruptive autobiographies.
She has exhibited her works all over the country and the world, and has her works in various private and public collections. She lives and works in Mumbai.