Yavuz Gallery is excited to return to The Armory Show with a presentation by leading artists from Australia, Singapore and the Philippines including: Abdul Abdullah, Nick Modrzewski, Alvin Ong, Tom Polo and Yeo Kaa.
Our presentation celebrates a new generation of artists who are at the vanguard of contemporary painting. Propelling the reinvention of figuration in the Asia-Pacific region, they depict scenes of their friends, lovers, family, and self in scenes that make their everyday through each of their own distinctive visual lexicons. Colourful, humorous and tender, their works traverse themes of vulnerability, intimacy and human resilience, to engage in our current politics of seeing, identity and social issues.
Abdul Abdullah (b. 1986, Australia) engages with the ideas of difference, and the complex disjuncture between stereotypical narratives and our lived experiences. He presents paintings anthropomorphised rocks against detailed landscapes appropriated from stock image banks and then enlivens them with bold emoji faces and humanised gestures in his signature white lines. Developed as portraits of our anxieties, Abdullah imagines these rocks as sentinels that speak to our shared obligation to the land and spaces we exist in.
Nick Modrzewski’s (b. 1988, Australia) practice investigates law and social ritual. In each of his scenes, Modrzewski picks apart the rules of social engagements, rendering them in a sensuous and fluid painterly language – as evident in his work Pedestrian Gala. Modrzewski unpacks the partly real, partly fictional relationship between flowers and the law. Both involve a mixture of nurture and control, tenderness and discipline, played out through floral motifs and abstracted bodies entwined in carnivalesque embraces.
Alvin Ong (b. 1988, Singapore) will present a series of paintings that capture quotidian moments in surreal compositions. In Applause, Ong immortalises fond memories of concerts and recitals whilst working out of his studio in London the past year. Soundscapes appear to grow out of the formal elements of the hand. The ambiguity that surrounds the start or end of the performance continues his fluid compositions that draw on his lived experiences and fertile imagination.
Tom Polo (b. 1985, Australia) uses painting to explore how conversation, gesture and exchange are embodied acts of portraiture. Working between abstraction and figuration, his paintings blur boundaries between the self and others, to mask and unveil the complexities of our inner worlds. Polo will present a new series of paper works that draw upon acute observation, social encounters and personal histories, to record the emotional and performative relationships between people within social, theatrical and psychological space.
A perfect dichotomy of colour and scrutiny, Filipino artist Yeo Kaa, (b. 1989, Philippines) paints deceptively candy-coloured characters suspended in often jarring states of reality. In her debut at Armory, she presents Coked Up Decisions, a painting that delves into the allure and consequences of impulsive choices, where emotions run high, and intelligence may falter. Symbolising the thrill of spontaneity, a white line resembling cocaine runs through the painting, inviting contemplation and cautions against being swept away by fleeting euphoria where rationality may take a backseat to emotions.