Paintings for the Rise and Fall of Ideology at AD Gallery, Athens

12.09.2018

On Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at 20:00 AD gallery presents on its two floors two solo shows at the same time: that of Manuel Ocampo (b. 1965, Quezon City, Philippines) and of Mihael Milunovic (b. 1967, Belgrade, Serbia).

Ocampo’s work had a strong impact both in Europe and the USA when it was presented by Jan Hoet in Documenta IX in Kassel (1992) as well as in the Venice Biennial (1993, 2001 & 2017). Milunovic’s work, which brings to mind the painting of the New Leipzig School (Neo Rauch, Matthias Weischer, Tim Eitel, etc.), is related with the climate of post-war Yugoslavia and the defeat of utopia.

Mihael Milunovic, Procession, 2018, oil on canvas, 146 X 114 cm. By courtesy of AD Gallery, Athens GR and the artist.

In a context of a worldwide crisis, what should be the role of art? In the show recent works are being presented by both artists, who resolutely chose to take a stance. It is in fact not surprising that both come from countries torn by colonial stigmata, harsh regimes and wars. Their works put into question ideological orders (cultural, religious, political). They deconstruct and expose the ambiguous function of ideological symbols in the construction of identity. The two artists build fantastic worlds, which acquire a quality of hyperrealism, mirroring the identitarian tensions that characterize our society.

Ocampo’s universe conveys a jubilant sarcasm that explodes in our faces, while Milunovic’s work has a form of insinuative coldness that sends shivers down our spines. The works of the two artists, although presented as two separate solo exhibitions, create two worlds that deeply resonate.

Manuel Ocampo brilliantly mixes sacred baroque religious iconography with secular political narratives, and stages the cruel inhuman effects of controversial ideological symbols. Masterfully mixing the codes of “low brow” with references to “high art”, he exposes the comic vulgarity of the extreme situations he depicts.
Mihael Milunovic creates a deeply disquieting feeling that is more subterranean, an impression of a lurking threat. The manipulation of symbols as to make them unidentifiable (destroying their primary coalition function), the black holes and austere minimalist landscapes create a worrisome surreal universe. It is not a visceral scream, as in Ocampo’s work, but a disembodied and dehumanizing setting.

Manuel Ocampo, Yes, Sir! No, Sir! Right Away, Sir!, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 162 Χ 130 cm. By courtesy of AD Gallery, Athens GR and the artist.
Manuel Ocampo, Ethnic Types, 2016, oil on canvas, 162 X 130 cm. By courtesy of AD Gallery, Athens GR and the artist.
Manuel Ocampo, Hockney, 2017, oil on canvas, 45 Χ 36 cm. By courtesy of AD Gallery, Athens GR and the artist.
Mihael Milunovic, The Cell, 2018, oil on canvas, 140 X 210 cm. By courtesy of AD Gallery, Athens GR and the artist.
Mihael Milunovic, Red Chair, 2018, oil on canvas, 150 X 200 cm. By courtesy of AD Gallery, Athens GR and the artist.

Info
Two Solo Shows: Manuel Ocampo and Mihael Milunovic
12 Sep - 24 Nov 2018

AD Gallery
und. Athens Directory no.69
Pallados 3, Athens 105 54
T +30 210 322 8785
Tue - Fri 12:00-21:00
Sat 12:00-16:00

✍ Text provided by the organizers

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