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Silverlens: Painting Palettes/Palette Paintings II / ORDO AB CHAO

  • Silverlens 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension Makati City 1231 Philippines (map)

Painting Palettes/Palette Paintings II
Elaine Roberto-Navas

SILVERLENS is set to end the year with Elaine Navas’ Painting Palettes/Palette Paintings II, her third solo exhibition with the gallery. A noted painter of waterscapes, forests, and gates, each piece is achieved through her signature use of impasto.

Previous exhibitions in Silverlens are Wet Paint (2010) and Salt Water (2016), featuring waterscapes. In this series of new works, Navas continues her Painting Palettes/Palette Paintings series that she began in 2014 on the recommendation of her teacher and mentor, conceptual artist, Roberto Chabet. The palettes Navas paints in this show are of artists Jan Balquin, Jose John Santos III, Pam Yan Santos, Ariel Navas, Yasmin Sison-Ching, Mauro Malang Santos, Manual Ocampo, and Patricia Perez Eustaquio.

The palette is testament to a painter's process, with every mark and trace chronicled on its surface. It knows the artist’s idiosyncrasies and proclivities when working --- the pauses and obsessions, the mundanity of the grind. It willingly abides to every mound of paint, every mixture and every erasure. Unmentioned, undeclared and cleansed at the end, the palette remains ready for the next series, ready to be used again.

It began as a dream by professor, mentor and confidant the late Roberto Chabet: a series of paintings of palettes. And Elaine Roberto-Navas happily obliged, first in 2014 then presently for the exhibition Painting Palettes/ Palette Paintings II. Each palette collected from friends and colleagues turn into artefacts that intimately embodies its possessor. With her signature impasto renderings, they are individually abstracted and interpreted, as though producing in the process portraits of the painters who provided them.

The levels of transference yielded --- from the palette’s ordinariness in the studio to paintings on canvases to framed articles --- blur the divisions between process and output, subject and object, personal and the public. It is then not the intent to be identified or to produce accurate depictions. It is not about the individual as much as a revelation of the techniques and methods of a painter.

The extraction of these items or unsung heroes* from the solitude of the studio instead acknowledges the liminal stages of production. It is a remembrance of a phase of no verdict, a space where freedom and exploration are of the essence.

*Term quoted from a conversation between Navas and Robert Langenegger.

- Iris Ferrer

Yasmin Sison, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, & Pam Yan Santos

SILVERLENS is pleased to present one of its two concluding shows of the year, ORDO AB CHAO, a three-woman exhibition by Yasmin Sison, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, and Pam Yan Santos. Invited by Elaine Navas who is holding a solo exhibition simultaneously, it marks the first time these three artists featured in together in a Silverlens exhibition. Both Christina Quisumbing Ramilo and Yasmin Sison have held solo exhibitions in the gallery, The Domestic Life of Pictures (Sison, 2012) and Construct (Quisumbing Ramilo, 2013). This is the first time for Pam Yan Santos to show at the gallery. 

The exhibition features what the trio have in common – drawing out personal experiences to craft new meanings. It welcomes back Ramilo’s sensitive approach to material and site specificity, the recurrence of childhood elements in Sison’s works, and presents Yan Santos’ multi-layered pieces.  

ORDO AB CHAO (a Latin expression for ‘order out of chaos’ or ‘order from disorder’) explores the possibilities of the creative process while in the state of constant disarray. Chaos termed in physical and mental senses though may initially be seen as hindrances are recast into fuel and material for their works.

Acts of gathering and accumulating things are deeply ingrained into the artists’ quotidian lives. These are then incorporated into varying forms into the pieces that are produced. Layers upon layers of seemingly mismatched objects and imagery meld together to create abstracted objects, collages, installations and figurations as a manner of making sense that is rooted in their own understanding of how things function.

Mired within the contexts of the personal, especially with spaces bound within homes, a paradoxical merging ensues where this kind of intimacy becomes both boon and bane, privilege and drawback; it is clear that there seems to be no strict separation between the realities of life and of practice. This is then used as a start-off point for explorations and discussions, the seed for art to be concretized.

This transition from collected raw materials to actual work poses an evident cycle: a constant push and pull where the production process becomes meditation, refuge and catharsis --- a breathing space, an act of lifting one’s head out of the water. For the three artists, the art process turns into repeated attempts geared towards order whilst at the same time finding redemption in the clutter.

- Iris Ferrer

Earlier Event: November 20
Artinformal: An Apple A Day
Later Event: November 23
Salcedo Auctions: Under the Tree 2018