ATUL DODIYA | Girlfriends: French, German, Italian, Egyptian, Santiniketan, Ghatkopar…: D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi

31 January - 4 March 2017

Through his careful selection of artists and works, Dodiya attempts to transform these diverse portraits, from different historic and geographical zones by engaging with the shared subject matter. He chooses for his series - Francis Picabia’s portraits from the Dada period to the mid-50s, Albrecht Durer’s early 16th century drawings of female figures, representation of women from Piero della Francesca’s Arezzo Frescos of 'The Legend of the True Cross', Rabindranath Tagore’s  1930swatercolour portraits, Fayum mummy portraits from ancient Egypt, and an intervention with found drawings of an unknown artist from Ghatkopar, where the artist's studio is located. Atul Dodiya acknowledges that unlike his earlier works in the narrative mode, the challenge in developing this body of works which look at historical portraits is that they have no story to tell. Thus the primary enquiry became one of representation of time - how to convey all this time that has passed, of things lost, of residual memory and consciousness? It was as much an emotional exercise as one in formal experimentation of form and colour. Dodiya thus takes up different modes of transformation in each of these series, sometimes combining two or more figures by the great masters in a single frame.