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A SATIRE: "Saptapadi"
A SATIRE: "Saptapadi"

Madhur Tankha

NEW DELHI: Billed as a humorous take on marriages, a fortnight-long solo exhibition of paintings by Atul Dodiya opens at Vadehra Art Gallery here this Friday. Titled "Saptapadi: Scenes from Marriage (Regardless)", the exhibition featuring a series of 23 paintings from 2003 to 2006 is a mixture of styles and languages.

Varied images like Bollywood and popular cultural material like calendars and posters will be highlighted at the exhibition.

Atul pulls in everyone from the former US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary to actresses Sridevi and Bindu, besides his own better half to make witty and critical comments. The artist thinks of these works as "contemporary oleographs".

Atul has combined modern challenges like pressures of a growing globalised economy, cultural influence of television, rise of fundamentalist forces and the challenges of surviving to form a series of hilarious and satirical images.

While the term "Saptapadi'' refers to the classical ritual to solemnise a marriage, the word "regardless'' in the title refers to the use of "caste regardless or age regardless" that frequently appear in matrimonial advertisements in national dailies.

In the forthcoming exhibition, Atul has interplayed little and grand narratives. While studying at Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris between 1991 and 1992, he rediscovered the potential of "realist'' painting.

Atul collects images from various sources and combines them into painted collages.

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