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Atul Dodiya
Family Tree


Constructed with a complex layering of image and metaphor, Atul Dodiya`s recent works draw heavily on the artist`s deep understanding of Indian history and culture, global artistic traditions, and both current affairs and events of the past.

This 2005 piece is part of Dodiya`s `Singapore Suite` – a series of mixed media paper-pulp and print works made over the winter of 2005 during his residency at the Singapore Tyler...

Constructed with a complex layering of image and metaphor, Atul Dodiya`s recent works draw heavily on the artist`s deep understanding of Indian history and culture, global artistic traditions, and both current affairs and events of the past.

This 2005 piece is part of Dodiya`s `Singapore Suite` – a series of mixed media paper-pulp and print works made over the winter of 2005 during his residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute. In this series Dodiya explores and updates the story of the tribal woman Sabari, one of the many smaller narratives comprising the epic Ramayana. Following in the footsteps of the artist Nandalal Bose, who explored this story in a 1941 series of paintings, Dodiya uses the chronicle of Sabari`s lifelong devotion to Ram to explore the ways in which the epic is currently being misappropriated in the name of right-wing politics. Using cotton shirts, digital print outs, charcoal and watercolour among other media, the artist has created a series that “is a critical engagement with a history of India, a claim to the shaping of India`s future as a space of inclusiveness.” It calls for “a fresh valuation of the past…a realisation of the fatuity of monolithic interpretations of tradition, identity and belonging” (Ranjit Hoskote, “The Amplitudes of Connection” in The Wet Sleeves of My Paper Robe, Bodhi Art, 2005, p. 25). Connected by thick charcoal strokes, Sabari`s family tree, the subject of this piece, does not only depict the birds that kept her company and the herbs and berries she gathered as a tribal hermit, but also the contemporary violence that her story has disintegrated into. Connected to the familiar motif of Sabari`s `chakki`, or flour grinder, Dodiya ominously places icons of a skull, an axe, and a burning house. As critic Nancy Adjania puts it, like the red shirt pockets, these images do not “simply mark the bloody feuds between Ram and his enemies” as Sabari waited for him, but also “the blood of those who have been sacrificed at the altar of a dystopia: the Ram-rajya, the `rule of Rama`, that was the rallying cry of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002” (“Sabari in Singapore: The Testimony of a Pirate King” in The Wet Sleeves of My Paper Robe, Bodhi Art, 2005, p. 16).



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  Lot 48 of 135  

SPRING AUCTION 2007
7-8 MARCH 2007

Estimate



Winning Bid
$115,000
Rs 49,45,000

(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)

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ARTWORK DETAILS

Atul Dodiya
Family Tree
Signed and dated in English (lower right)
2005
Mixed media on paper
66 x 52 in (167.6 x 132.1 cm)

Published: The Wet Sleeves of My Paper Robe, Bodhi Art Gallery, New York, 2006

Category: Painting
Style: Figurative


 









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