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  • Nov 11, 2021

Yavuz Gallery Debuts at West Bund Art and Design

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PATRICIA PICCININI, The Balance, 2019, fiberglass, automotive paint, leather parts, 230 × 187 × 150 cm. All images courtesy the artist and Yavuz Gallery.

PATRICIA PICCININI, While She Sleeps, 2021, silicone, fiberglass, hair, 56 × 145 × 88 cm.

Yavuz Gallery presents leading Australian artists Patricia Piccinini and Abdul Abdullah in a curated duo presentation at West Bund Art and Design 2021. Consisting of sculptures and paintings, the showcase explores visceral narratives on being an outsider and our relationship with the environment. These two bodies of work investigate transhumanism—the intersection between sentient beings and natural worlds.

Patricia Piccinini, known for her hyperrealistic and enigmatic sculptures that depict hybrid humanoid creatures, is one of Australia’s most important artists. Rendered in materials such as fiberglass, silicone, and hair, her works explore the dynamics between families and species, science and nature, art and the environment. Captivating and endearing, her sculptures challenge audiences to question what it means to be human today. A highlight of the gallery's presentation is The Balance (2019), which depicts machines imagined as animals, locked in an ambiguous clinch. Drawing on the history of animals in art, The Balance reflects the balance between humans and the rest of nature as dangerous and volatile, while exploring the naturalization of technology in a hybrid ecology. In While She Sleeps (2021), Piccinini depicts a pair of chimeras cradling each other. Based on the Tasmanian tiger, the work represents the fantasy of undoing the extinctions we have caused, and raises further questions on our relationship with the natural world.

ABDUL ABDULLAH, Considering our choices, 2021, oil on linen, 240 × 180 cm.

ABDUL ABDULLAH, Pleased by the potential, 2021, oil on linen, 240 × 180 cm.

Presented alongside her sculptures are paintings by critically acclaimed Australian-Malaysian artist Abdul Abdullah, who is exploring the disjuncture between the perception and projection of identity. Biographical in origin, Abdullah’s paintings often feature the tumultuous seas and mountains risked by people in search of a better future. His latest works are vital expressions informed by his personal perceptions of what constitutes as the center and the periphery. Abdullah has recently expanded his painting practice to lush and textured forestscapes, which allude to his longing for natural landscapes that have mostly been accessible only through the internet due to the pandemic. The forest then becomes a psychological space of meditation and reflection. It evokes a sense of escapism when, at times, manmade environments can become too loud, claustrophobic, and crippling.

Patricia Piccinini
Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965, Sierra Leone) explores the frontiers of science and technology through sculpture, photography, video, and installation. Since the early 1990s, she has pursued an interest in the human form and its potential for manipulation and enhancement through biotechnological intervention. From mapping the human genome to exploring the growth of human tissue from stem cells, Piccinini’s art charts a terrain in which scientific progress and ethical questions are intertwined.

In 2003, Piccini was selected to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale, for which she created “We are Family,” a project that transformed the Australian pavilion into a home of the future. She has since participated in the Berlin, Gwangju, Liverpool, and Sydney Biennales, as well as held solo exhibitions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Centro de Artes Visuales in Lima, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, among others.

Abdul Abdullah
As a seventh-generation Muslim-Australian of mixed ethnicity who grew up in suburban Perth, Abdul Abdullah’s (b. 1986, Australia) multidisciplinary practice is motivated by a longstanding concern with the displacement and alienation associated with histories of diaspora and migration. He creates carefully crafted political commentaries that speak of the “Other” and the experiences of marginalized communities. Intersecting between popular culture, contemporary conflicts, and personal experience, his recent works renegotiate histories and create space for alternative possibilities and new conversations.

Abdullah is collected by numerous institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Thailand. In 2019, he was awarded the inaugural Australian Muslim Artist Art Prize. Abdullah is also a five-time Archibald Prize finalist and five-time Sulman Prize finalist—a rarity for an artist of his years.

Yavuz Gallery is at West Bund Art and Design Booth B308 from November 11 to 14, 2021.

For more information, visit yavuzgallery.com.

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