Experimenter presents Every Bone a Song, Biraaj Dodiya’s second solo at the gallery and her first solo exhibition at Experimenter – Colaba in Mumbai, where Dodiya lives and works. Presenting a series of new paintings and sculptures, the exhibition continues Dodiya’s inquiry of the body and landscape and of related thoughts on support, surface, structure and material.
Simultaneously straddling ideas of ruination and form, Dodiya’s work is rooted to metaphors within the subject of landscape. A relentless construction, deconstruction and improvisation of materials leads to the final form of recent paintings and sculptures on view in the exhibition. The surface of Dodiya’s paintings are dense, layered and textured, created through a constant process of removal and reapplication of paint, much akin to landscape which could also be a charged space for erasure and the violence of time. For Dodiya there is no landscape without ruin, there is no body without failure and she remains interested in constructing this liminal space – the meeting point between the sublime image, and the inherent ruin in it.
Large abstract oil paintings are installed alongside wooden painted planks and steel ‘anchor plate’ sculptures, titled Interludes that sit at the juncture between painting and sculpture and are closely linked with how the paintings are made and viewed. The paintings develop much like an excavation site with extended processes of layering and digging. Ultimately, the work becomes a record of its own upended language. The painted surface continues into the sculptures, like repair or sealing with material that form protective skins, where the planks combined with paintings, stand like signposts and visual beams, existing between two worlds, touching both floor and wall, sky and earth. Dodiya is interested in the physical interaction of the viewer and the work. The planks become her medium to construct a play between surface and ground, verticality and gravity, that mirror the tectonic uncertainty of the paintings. The steel ‘anchor plates’ looming over the space, painted or bandaged, work as abstract glyphs, trying to interrupt the space like weighted drawings. Inspired by architectural devices often visible on the exteriors of walls in medieval towns or earthquake prone cities, they repair and preserve, like systems one develops to prevent collapse. Here they are interludes; they are the bones.
Biraaj Dodiya (b. 1993) lives and works in Mumbai. Education: 2018 Master of Fine Arts, New York University, New York; 2015 Bachelors of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing, School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago, Chicago; 2013 Summer Program, Painting and Art History, specializing in Italian Pre-Renaissance and Renaissance Art history, Syracuse University, Florence, Italy. Residencies: Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Fellow (2022). Solo exhibitions: 2020 Stone is a Forehead, Experimenter; 2017 Burn your finger, And kiss it yourself, 80WSE, New York. Group exhibitions: 2021 Do You Know How To Start A Fire?, Experimenter, Bikaner House, New Delhi; 2021 The Profound Object, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi; 2021 (ME)(MORY),Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi; 2018 NYU Performance Video Art Show, Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York; NYU MFA Thesis Show Part I, 80WSE, New York; 2017 in medias res, 80WSE, New York; Send Your Location, 33 Orchard, New York; 2016 Xenophilia, Eye on India, Fulton Street Collective, Chicago; Luminarts Cultural Foundation: Visual Arts Fellowship Exhibition, Union League Club of Chicago, Chicago; 2015 Still Collisions, Locallective, Chicago; Bed, Bath and Beyond, Johnson, Vermont, USA; Cubical the Musical: A Survey of Work by Advanced Painting Class, Chicago; Advanced Pain, Crybaby Gallery, Chicago; Spring Undergraduate Exhibition, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago; 2014 Or, Just Come Over, Outhouse, Chicago; PickleJuiceJeanJacket, Stone Soup Ashland Cooperative, Chicago; 2013 IceCreamPaintJob, Stone Soup Ashland Cooperative, Chicago; Photograph Chicago, Nuveen Center, SAIC, Chicago.