Atul DodiyaMeditation (with open eyes)2011

Room 3 in In the Studio

Atul Dodiya

Composition B (No.II) with Red

Piet Mondrian, Composition B (No.II) with Red  1935

Mondrian’s pursuit of a new spirituality and a new art for the modern world was fundamental to the modernist art movement. Here he reduces his colour to a single red rectangle, giving the black lines greater importance as compositional elements. The structure is slightly off-set, reflecting his opposition to the ‘false ease’ of symmetry in favour of ‘the dynamic equilibrium of true life’, for which he sought a pictorial equivalent.

Gallery label, November 2015

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Meditation (with open eyes)

Atul Dodiya, Meditation (with open eyes)  2011

Meditations (With Open Eyes) 2011 is an installation that comprises three wooden cabinets with glass fronts, with artworks and objects placed both inside and on top. In them the Indian artist Atul Dodiya has assembled an assortment of objects, much in the manner of traditional cabinets of curiosities found in historic collections and museums. The dense, slightly informal arrangement of the objects gives the work the appearance of a series of personal shrines, similar to the humble glass cabinets common in middle-class Indian homes which preserve souvenirs and items based on emotional rather than material value: photos, travel memorabilia, toys and gifts, religious icons and the like. The title of the work suggests conscious memory and the contemplation of objects that trigger recollections. The cabinets are arranged in a row, mounted on the wall, and the central one is slightly taller than the two flanking it on either side. Dodiya had previously worked with museological-style displays in works, referencing and paying tribute to the Indian nonviolent activist and nationalist icon Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi (1869–1948) and fellow artist Bhupen Khakhar (1934–2003). An early example was Broken Branches 2003, in which Dodiya was inspired by the dusty cases containing personal effects and memorabilia in the regional museum about Gandhi in the small town of Porbandar. The particular iteration of cabinets in Meditations (With Open Eyes) is more autobiographical and relates closely to Dodiya’s own art practice.

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Composition B (No.II) with Red
Piet Mondrian Composition B (No.II) with Red 1935
Meditation (with open eyes)
Atul Dodiya Meditation (with open eyes) 2011