2016 Works On Paper
Just A Hint Of Mayhem
1335MABINI proudly presents Ernest Concepcion in a solo exhibition titled “Just a Hint of Mayhem” from April 23 to May 20, 2016.
Ernest Concepcion, in his second solo exhibition at 1335MABINI titled “Just A Hint Of Mayhem”, comes up with new works that explore possibilities in painting in relation to photograph-based imagery and abstraction.
Cited last year as one of the CCP Thirteen Artists awardees, Concepcion works tangentially on the idea of representation based on references in Filipino culture from an expressionistic stance; mainly he is interested in his experimentation with medium and ground as he pushes paint to a level of rich, brightly-colored impastos.
His early set of works consists of illustration-based paintings, contoured and highly-figurative. Having lived and worked in New York for more than a decade, the artist, now living in Manila, develops an approach that derives itself from the potent visual character of a local culture that gives importance to sensorial experience. This then points towards an attitude that emphasizes form; the artist prepares his pigment that allows for a highly textured finish.
For this exhibition, the artist incorporates a set of images based on interiors of places most of which are local landmarks, and “defaces” them. When observed closely, it becomes a visual language of its own as the viewer is confronted with a ‘chaotic’ façade, partly erasing a preliminary painting of a photograph-based interior. He presents these works alongside several highly abstract pieces, which is a continuation of his exploration of form.
The defacement introduces a way of inviting a viewer to pause and “figure out” what is happening on the canvas, in the same manner that it affirms a specific type of “vandalizing”, which is an intrinsic quality of the work. Always painting in automatic and swiftly executed strokes, Concepcion places intuition, skill and fast composition to a group of two-dimensional works borne out of a need to react to an environment infused with an abundance of multi-sensory stimuli.
Artist Ernest Concepcion opens another solo exhibition at Tin-aw Art Gallery this July 2016. He presents a series of works defined by great attention to texture and surface, a seeming departure from his earlier pieces wherein backdrops of places and landmarks were apparent beneath impasto. Concepcion’s palette is vivid, his strokes textured, spontaneous, and thick. His current works take from objects as can be discerned in the mute outlines of buds and blooms within the tangle of paint as well as the mounds and hollows that define the surface of his works. He explores the possibility of material as purveyor of process and the relentless alternation of crafting and destruction as devices of design.
These recent works extend the continuum of a practice that explores dimensionality through the methods of painting and illustration. Concepcion explores materials that are viscous, those that endow terrain to painting’s ground and which allow him freedom, even pleasure in painting. He describes his method as departing from recognition of real objects which he uses as paths for paint, resin, plaster, among others to take in what can only be described as amalgam of form and the various ways it can be taken apart and made whole. Those contained in Concepcion’s canvases are tactile, vibrant, and in keeping with the exhibit title, Can’t Sit Still: replete with a miasmic and contagious restlessness.
Ernest Concepcion’s solo exhibition at Ysobel Art Gallery is titled “Unprecedented Views”. His current
paintings contain imagery that has references to his earlier works, an example of which is his Line Drawings. These consist of sci-fi-inspired illustrations based on several elements combining photograph-based sketches and abstraction. As a studio artist, Concepcion has always been interested in exploring the use of various plastic media, and for the past years has developed a technique with oil, enamel paint, and gypsum, putting out canvases with a highly textured finish.
For this exhibition, he has been able to come up with a fusion of his approaches to painting: improvising the illustrative free-flowing contour drawing, and preparing the textured full-of-color plane. This technique of loosely applying thick pigments of paint now becomes both a tool and backdrop for the surreal visual of his new works. The artist creates this set of boldly engaging landscapes where the subjects display a reflection of his selection of “space junk” references: representation of astronauts, rovers, satellites, and other objects in space. The outwardly playful way of having to present a painting with both illustration and abstraction leads to an interesting narrative.