For his second solo show at Sundaram Tagore Singapore, acclaimed Mexican-born artist Ricardo Mazal presents new abstract oil on linen paintings that expand upon two of his most powerful bodies of work: Bhutan and Violet. Both of these series draw on Mazal’s ongoing fascination with spiritual themes and reveal his increasingly abstract approach.
The Bhutan series culminated Mazal’s near decade-long investigation of the sacred burial rituals of various cultures. His explorations have spanned from the Mayan tomb of the Red Queen in Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico to the Peace Forest cemetery in Odenwald, Germany. Bhutan focuses on the region’s billowing prayer flags that adorn the landscape with brilliant colors, each symbolizing a different element of nature. The flags, which are hung from bridges, mounted on rooftops and strung from one hilltop to the next, are often inscribed with mantras or prayers for good fortune and it’s believed that the wind delivers these blessings to the world.
A highlight of the exhibition is an interactive video installation, inspired by the Buddhist belief that prayer flags generate positive thoughts. Viewers will be invited to inscribe their own thoughts and prayers onto a touchscreen and then watch as their words instantly integrate into the digital composition of blowing, billowing flags. The words then dissipate as if carried away by the wind. The piece was first executed in Mazal’s solo show at the Museo Estación Indianilla, Mexico City, in 2015.
The new works from Violet, the second series featured in this exhibition, take this process of reduction to the next level. Considered to be the artist’s most refined and personal body of work to date, these minimalist, abstract paintings envelop viewers in lush, vibrant color. Mazal explores a broad spectrum of hues within the violet family, from stark, lavender-tinted white to crimson, aubergine and the deepest purple-black. He bisects several canvases creating opposing color planes, adding an element of tension.
Seen together, this selection of paintings from the Violet and Bhutan series transforms the gallery space into a meditative environment and uncovers a powerful new direction of the artist’s oeuvre.
Opening reception with the artist: Thursday, April 6, 7 to 9 pm
Venue: Sundaram Tagore Gallery Singapore, Gillman Barracks
When: 6 Apr - 28 May 2017,