OPUS: A painting exhibition by Mark Chu at Marfa Gallery - 1 February 2018 - 4 February 2018

Sarah Guppy - This Much Talent | 14-Jan-2018
New York-based, Australian painter Mark Chu is preparing to showcase his latest vast body of new work, OPUS, marking his fourth solo exhibition. Produced by Melbourne based multimedia company Exile Entertainment, OPUS opens Thursday 1 February until Sunday 4 February at Abbotsford's Marfa Gallery.
Venue: Marfa Gallery
Address: Level 1/288 Johnson Street, Abbotsford, Vic
Date: Friday 2 February "“ Sunday 4 February -12-6pm
Web: http://www.marfagallery.com/
: https://www.instagram.com/markbochu/
: http://convicts.nyc/profiles/the-man-who-loves-mess-writer-and-painter-mark-chu/
The work of OPUS was created entirely at the artist's studio in New York City, with viewers invited to experience this collection as a whole, borrowing its title from the vocabulary of music to denote a set of compositions. Chu's set provokes viewers to pass through varied subjects, emotional tones, contrasting radiance and whimsy with the brooding and sombre. Paintings bursting in a chromatic range are juxtaposed with images that rely on the shadow of blackness. Gestural brushstrokes evoking liquid motion complement stiller compositions. Central to Chu's diverse applications of paint are an intense stylistic exploration.

Chu's depictions of the human face are often as fractured as they are presented whole. At times the face is disembodied as if suspended in a vacuum; when the body is present its context imports reality. These works explore the possibility of abstraction and comment on disparate periods of painting.

In Chu's own words, "Artworks should display a thoughtful worldview, one that eschews gimmicks and pursuit of status. I want to be an artist that does a lot. I hope this show displays compelling results of experimentation and labor. I want OPUS to exhibit deep and justified art."

To contrast the human face, the artist explores the expanse of his style through inanimate objects. This secondary focus shows not only Chu's reach as a painter, but his commitment to range within this opus. Alongside hung paintings, the artist has published a short book of images titled Layers, Jumbled documenting the lives and personalities of two Brooklyn denizens, a mother and daughter. This volume re-imagines the role of the artist, ensuring that the subject has agency; the subject no longer acts purely as a model, informing the visual language of the artist's work. Having lived in New York for five years, Chu commonly found the perception of Brooklyn to be uninformed, and overly focused on trend transformations and the gentrified.

Chu takes a unique approach by inviting his subjects to offer insight into their own artistic endeavors and sense of visual style. Through long conversations, the subjects not only choose what will be in the book but also advise on the colour, formatting and tone, so that the final products are collaborative.

Currently completing his Master's in Fine Arts at Columbia University, New York, Mark Chu returns to Australia to exhibit OPUS, his current collection of 80 works and book of paintings Layers, Jumbled.

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