The Grey Paintings
Solo exhibition by Arahmaiani
1 March - 24 March 2013, Main Gallery
Although she is best known as an artist who makes performances and installations, Arahmaiani studied originally as a painter. Indeed throughout her career she has periodically returned to painting. Over the last three years she has, perhaps above all else, been working on a group of grey paintings, all of them diptychs.
Whereas much of her work was very concerned with political and gender issues these paintings have been informed, firstly, rather by a desire to be more integrated with nature and, secondly, by her involvement with the Buddhist Lamas of Tibet. These paintings are about women and men being in Nature; they have a slow, meditational quality.
These are paintings about the compatibility of male and female, and about how people can be part of nature, not just use it as a resource or background for their actions. Each of the six diptychs in this exhibition contains images of people, often in water and in the other panel foliage or abstraction.
Arahmaiani uses grey so as to focus on the effect of light and how a painting can seem to contain light. These calm, deceptively simple paintings reveal another side to one of the most important artists of South East Asia.
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