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Untitled (Walls and Shadows)

Untitled (Walls and Shadows)
signed and dated 'Atul '92' (lower left)
oil on canvas
57½ x 38¼ in. (146.1 x 97.2 cm.)
Painted in 1991-1992
Acquired directly from the artist

Brought to you by

Deepanjana Klein
Deepanjana Klein

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Lot Essay

An excellent example of the photorealist style which defined his oeuvre in the 1980s and first brought him critical acclaim, Atul Dodiya painted Walls and Shadows during his year-long residency at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1991. This painting was one of the last works in this style after which the artist moved towards the more fragmented, multilayered technique. Taking cues from the two-dimensional brightly colored pop of David Hockney and Bhupen Khakhar's use of space, this painting depicts a section of a balcony along with the neighboring rooftop of homes in Rajkot, Gujarat. In conversation with the artist, Dodiya mentioned that he had taken a photograph of the scene during a visit to Rajkot on a beautiful winter morning. Having carried the image with him to Paris, he was struck by nostalgia as he chose to paint the piece on a cold, dark winter day in France.

Dodiya's use of light may be compared to paintings by Edward Hopper, as seen in the painting Rooms by the Sea, 1951, where architecture offers a springboard for exploring formal geometries and light effects. The interaction between abstract diagonal planes and expanses of light is often as much a focal point as the subject itself. The otherwise solomn interior of the room is broken by the open doorway leading onto a terrace bathed in sunlight. Similar to Hopper's paintings done in the 1950s, this work is primarily concerned with the simultaneous pictorial depiction of the interior and exterior of a given space.

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