Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, is honoured to present the first solo exhibition of celebrated Indonesian contemporary artist Yunizar in Europe. This exhibition brings together a group of recent paintings and sculptures directly from the artist’s studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Yunizar is a leading figure of the burgeoning Indonesian art scene and is garnering critical and commercial acclaim on an international level. His works are recognised for their enigmatic pictorial language, organic palette and materials, and idiosyncratic and expressive style.
Yunizar’s large scale canvases teem with miniscule, cryptic text and imagery obsessively scrawled by the artist in a seemingly na ve manner. The vast expanses of these minute renderings collectively create a sense of movement in the canvases, telling a story in a non-narrative manner. Untitled (2014) is populated with these dense, cartoon-like depictions of humans, animals, symbols, text, and inanimate objects, contained by a rhythmic border of red pigment.
While the viewer may search for meaning in these highly personalised pictures and motifs, Yunizar remains characteristically coy about his work and the possibility of any coding, focusing instead on the intuitive process and inspiration drawn from his immediate surroundings and experiences. Of paramount significance is the way in which Yunizar gives precedence to “rasa”, which most accurately translates as the sum of the senses - feeling, taste, flavour, sensation and more.
Yunizar’s paintings are executed in a palette inspired by nature - cream, black, ochre and red - incorporating rocks and earth in the paint to achieve a tactile and organic surface quality. The exhibition also highlights the artist's recent foray into sculpture with two figurative bronze sculptures, Preman Kampungan (Plebeian Gangster) (2014) and Veteran Bintang (One Star General) (2014), three-dimensional manifestations of his richly detailed, often humorous and highly symbolic work.
Yunizar was born in Talawi, West Sumatra, Indonesia, in 1971 and graduated from the prestigious Indonesian Institute for the Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta in 1999. Yogyakarta is a progressive cultural centre of Indonesia, attracting artists from around the country. Yunizar is a leading member of the Jendela group, Indonesia's most prominent contemporary art collective.