Friends of Gaya
Gaya Ceramic

The Alchemy of Asia
Pablo Gentile
June 1st till July 20th 2004
A Solo Exhibition by Pablo Gentile

Gaya Gallery, the leading contemporary art space in Bali, presents ?The Alchemy of Asia,? a one-man show by Pablo Gentile. The opening will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 1st 2004 at Gaya Fusion of Senses, J. Raya Sayan, Ubud, Bali. The exhibition will continue until July 20th 2004.

Born in New York, USA in 1951, Pablo Gentile majored in art history, theatrical design, painting 3 dimensional designs under Paul Tshinkle at University of New York (1971). He also studied life drawing at New York Arts Student League (1973-1975) and establishes Entropy Studios with fellow artists specializing in set design for Off-Off Broadway Productions. In 1970s, he conducted graffiti exhibition all over the city of New York.
At this show the ongoing evolution of Gentile?s diverse body of work is clearly can be seen, a broad pattern becomes apparent. The early work of the artist thunders with bold, literal imagery shouting primary colors, large brush strokes and hard edges. The most recent works however, dance with the intangible qualities of the ephemeral, the emerging, the partially obscured and the unknowable. Hanging in the silence between the still clear notes of form and space, one hears secret whispers... barely audible.
Painting is a process personal to every artist. The imagery that is created may posses a universal appeal, and social relevance can be achieved if the imagery resonates within the broader social context. Mankind has always needed artists to provide the imagery that others cannot or do not make themselves. This imagery represents some of the myths that guide us unconsciously through our personal journeys, and we use these familiar icons to anchor us in a language that is readily communicable. The West?s current preoccupation with Eastern symbolism can most recently be traced to the turn of the century. An exodus of Eastern teachers going West and seekers from the West traveling East began a meaningful exchange of cultural imagery. This imagery takes on connotative meanings that are much more powerful than are its literal definitions. Arguably the most powerful connotative meaning of Eastern iconography for Western culture is its indecipherability...a compelling invitation!

It is precisely this imagery, this mysterious ambiguity of Eastern symbolism stirring in the Western imagination, which becomes such a powerful tool in the hands of an artist seeking to communicate the unknowable. Western imagery, to the Western mind, is overloaded with literal definition and frequently unwelcome associations and, if powerful, are often co-opted for advertising uses, leaving the 21st century artist to search among utilitarian images for something fresh to express himself with, such as Campbell soup cans!

This painting is part of a series of seven works on canvas incorporating acrylic, mixed media and collage elements; marked by a powerful atmosphere of mystery and veneration. Some speak to the solitary journey of the soul, spiritual inspiration, earthly temptation and the renewing cycle of life and death. Others cast a broader net; incorporating historical context and collective experience, but even these stay strictly within the subjective perceptions of the artist. The series could be summed up as the personal impressions of a traveler from the West willingly caught in the surging currents of Eastern culture, history and philosophy, but maybe this would be too facile? The artist is touching on something further away than historical beginnings, closer to our hearts than philosophical conflicts, and beyond the reaches of abstract conception. He is traveling into the sublime realm of mystical inner space ? the infinite ? and the fathomless void of the inexplicable, at once both empty and full.

This series is socially relevant when seen in the context of the artist?s intentions, reflecting both the conflicts and some of the wonderful things that blossom from our personal journeys. Certainly it endeavors to provoke questions, but even in the most clearly narrative of the paintings, the questions remain unanswered.

mixed media on canvas with collage of 24 kt gold
145 x 145 cm
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