Scribes from Timbuktu
Galerie Daniel Templon will be holding the first solo exhibition in France of Atul Dodiya, one of the pioneers of contemporary Indian art. The artist’s most recent works will be on show: a set of paintings on metal shutters similar to those used in small stores as well as a series of watercolours featuring a mixture of western and eastern references.
Atul Dodiya, from the same generation as his renowned contemporaries Subodh Gupta and Sudarshan Shetty, was the first artist to create bridges between Western and Indian artistic traditions.
The experience gained during a one-year course at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris during the early 1990s was key to the development of an artist who excels in the art of references. His works channel elements of Picabia, Godard, Malevitch and Munch as well as Bollywood. Popular culture sits alongside cinematic and literary references. Behind the lyricism and the humour, politics remains one of his core preoccupations. Gandhi appears as a recurrent figure. His compositions as well as his appropriation of unlikely materials (metal shutters, steel frames, car paint) speak of the disturbances of city life in modern India. Dodiya himself refers to the “storm beneath the calm.”
With his dazzling capacity for self-reinvention, Atul Dodiya has worked in a comprehensive range of styles, eagerly embarking, always successfully, on new experiments, from his early photo-realism to his works on metal shutters that sealed his international reputation.This process of deliberation on the object itself reflects his interest in the aspirations of India’s middle classes and the impact of globalisation on their traditions.
Atul Dodiya was born in 1959. He lives and works in Mumbai. His works can be found in the collection of many museums and private foundations in India, where he exhibits at the Vadhera, Nature Morte and Chemould Prescott galleries. Atul Dodiya has participated in most of the major exhibitions of Indian art held in the USA, Europe and Asia in recent years: Indian Summer at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts, Paris (2000), Inside India at the Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, Turin (2010), The Empire Strikes Back at the Saatchi Gallery, London (2010), La Route de la soie at the Tri Postal, Lille (2011) and Paris Delhi Bombay at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011). He has also participated at the Documenta in Kassel in 2007, the Gwangju Biennale (curated by Okwui Enwezor) in 2008 and the Moscow Biennale (curated by Jean-Hubert Martin) in 2009. Summer 2012 sees his work exhibited as part of India: Art Now in Norway’s ARKEN museum.