Dodiya has assembled a range of portraits and objects which relate to his upbringing and artistic development. They are arranged in glass cabinets that resemble museum showcases but also recall personal displays of souvenirs and sentimental items that are particularly common in Indian homes. The cabinets also act as shrines, celebrating the lives of these inspirational figures.
The portraits on the upper level include artists Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso, as well as poet Rabindranath Tagore. There is a detail from Henri Rousseau’s painting Portrait of a Child and an image of actors Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan from the Bollywood film Anand 1971. The objects range from the sacred to the everyday. Copies of artworks by other artists as well as those made by Dodiya sit next to photographs, miniature figurines, and incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu. There are quotations from American painter Jasper Johns, Bengali poet Sunil Gangopadhyay and French writer André Gide.
Two of the cabinets include tributes to the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. These relate to Dodiya’s first direct encounter with Mondrian’s paintings during a visit to Tate Modern in 2001. He noticed the cracks on the surface of the paintings, a detail not visible in printed reproductions. The cracked surface reminded him of the damaged landscape of his native state of Gujarat in India, where a major earthquake had just taken place. Mondrian’s painting Composition B (No.II) with Red is displayed here alongside Dodiya’s work.
Curated by Priyesh Mistry