Galerie Daniel Templon is opening the season with the first Brussels exhibition of work by one of the pionneers of contemporary Indian art, Atul Dodiya. The artist has created a fascinating new show with a series of previously unseen hybrid works combining oil painting and photography. The figure of Gandhi is central to the artist’s latest project, which questions the notions of modernity and universalism.
Atul Dodiya establishes a dialogue between two simultaneous moments in history: the fight for Indian independence between 1910 and 1947 and the founding of artistic modernity in Europe.
Each work combines an episode of Gandhi’s struggle with contemporary creations from artists such as Picasso, Mondrian and Malevitch. The complex fusion of painting and photography challenges the distrinction between copy and original, between Eastern and Western tradition.
Atul Dodiya was the first artist to to build bridges between Indian and Western art. 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 his artistic development. A member of the same generation as his renowned contemporaries, Subodh Guptah and Sudarshan Shetty, he excels in juxtaposing popular culture with cinematic and literary references. Behind the lyricism and the humour, politics remains one of his core preoccupations.
With his dazzling capacity for self-reinvention, Atul Dodiya has worked in a wide array of styles, ever ready to embark on (invariably successful) new experiments, from his early photo-realism to his works on metal shutters that sealed his international reputation.
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, including the Mnam-Centre Pompidou in Paris. He 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 also took part in the Kassel documenta exhibition in 2007, Gwangju Biennale (curated by Okwui Enwezor) in 2008, Moscow Biennale (curated by Jean-Hubert Martin) in 2009 and India: Art Now at the ARKEN museum in Denmark (2012). In 2014, he was the subject of a major exhibition by the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum: 7000 Museums. Atul Dodiya is one of the featured artists at the After Midnight Indian Modernism to Contemporary India exhibition currently running at the Queens Museum in New York until 13 September.