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signed and dated ' ATuL 2000'; further inscribed, titled and dated 'ATUL DODIYA - "The Catch" Iceberg - 2000 - Watercolour, Acrylic & marbledust on paper - 70" x 45" (on the reverse)
watercolor, acrylic and marble dust on paper
69¼ x 44 1/8 in. (175.9 x 112.2 cm.)
Executed in 2000
Tearscape: Recent Watercolours, exhibition catalogue, The Fine Art Resource, Berlin, 2001 (illustrated, unpaginated)
Berlin, The Fine Art Resource, Tearscape: Recent Watercolours, May - June 2001
Vienna, Kunsthalle, Kapital und Karma, March - June 2002

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Lot Essay

Following his return to India in 1992 after a Government Scholarship to France, Atul Dodiya's works began to see a steady departure from his earlier photorealist style towards what the artist calls 'inventive figuration'. Iceberg from the series 'Tearscape' painted in 2000, marked the culmination of this shift for the artist as it was the first body of work to be created without any photographic reference. With its sepia tones and black fissures, this work conjures images of a weathered road map or cave painting. Preserving the less than optimistic attitude established in his well known series on Mahatma Gandhi (1999), Iceberg questions the idea of modern India and the nation.

"A skeletal fisherwoman navigates her boat across a cloud-lit sky and sea that merge into one zone of danger. In the moody, monsoonal lighting, we see that her bone-like oar has been relaxed; her quizzical eye is fixed on a cut-out of Kashmir, which floats on the horizon like a decapitated head or the tip of an iceberg. In her dark net, by a magical transfer of resources, India's other regions have been gathered up as a mixed catch. The metaphorical resonance of the boat is borne through to the view: in Bhakti devotional culture, in the songs of mystics like Lal Ded and Kabir, it symbolizes the soul crossing the treacherous ocean of life. The 'Tearscape' narrative of catastrophe, propelling itself forward like a crescendo reaches its peak in 'Icberg'."
(R. Hoskote, Tearscape: Recent Watercolours by Atul Dodiya, Berlin, 2001, unpaginated)

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