Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Biraaj Dodiya: Excelling the art of articulation

Hailing from a family of artists, Dodiya has dabbled in different art forms but finds she is able to "play with the language of painting the most"

Jasodhara Banerjee
Published: Feb 4, 2021 01:50:14 PM IST
Updated: Mar 19, 2021 08:34:07 PM IST

Biraaj Dodiya: Excelling the art of articulationBiraaj Dodiya’s work involves drawings, paintings and sculptural installation art
Image: Arpit Jain for Forbes India

Biraaj Dodiya | 27

I arrived in the world of art very early because both my parents are artists,” says Biraaj Dodiya, daughter of artists Atul and Anju Dodiya. “Their friends are in creative worlds, and are painters, poets, educators, in cinema, and the likes. So my introduction to art, and to this way of living, of having a persistent practice, was through them.”

While she had been reading about art, drawing and painting, for a while, it was only through studying art—at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and New York University—that it became very rigorous. Although her training was focussed on painting, print-making and photography, in the last few years she has been more involved in drawing and sculptural installation art. “I find myself able to play with the language of painting the most, but when ideas come I find various ways of translating them.”

Dodiya had her debut solo show last March at Kolkata’s Experimenter Gallery, which comprised mostly paintings, and also some sculptural works, such as ramps. “I am interested in the concepts of absence, uncertainties and impermanence. In the painting process, through repair and erasure, sometimes it raises questions of distance, temporality and absences. Ramps are architectural structures of support, and they bear weight. The idea of making your own personal ramps with discarded industrial objects becomes a way of investigating your own memory.”

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“I feel Biraaj finds a beautiful way to elucidate an incredibly layered and a deeply personal practice. Many of her works offer a fleeting glimpse into experiences that most of us may find almost impossible to express, let alone articulate through work,” says Priyanka Raja, co-founder of Experimenter. “There is a sense of restraint in handling material, especially in the way she handles paint, translucency and density with which they appear on canvas. Her paintings and sculptures are often full of paradoxes.”

Coming up next for Dodiya is an exhibition with Experimenter at Bikaner House in March, and a group show at Vadehra Art Gallery, both in New Delhi. There is also fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, a residency programme in Umbria, Italy, starting in 2022.

Biraaj Dodiya: Excelling the art of articulation

(This story appears in the 12 February, 2021 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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