Death in the Open

Saturday, May 28, 2016, 6 pm

May 28 to June 24, 2016


Rinne Abrugena has a notable interest in the communicative value of painting as a means to express and visually interpret literary ideas or inquiries about human nature. As a reader of books with a background in education, Abrugena has a good grasp on the concept of articulation. This is rather fascinating, considering that her works have a clear tendency for abstraction.

As much as there is insight found in what she communicates, the manner in which Abrugena approaches the problem of transmission is just as interesting. The artist is more likely to ideas in terms of exhibitions, as opposed to doing so in terms of single works. This gives individual ideas a duality; on one hand they can be misleading, while on the other, it is able to dilute meaning for the sake of the dominant direction of the whole.

The exhibition, “Death in the Open,” shares its title with an essay Lewis Thomas, an American researcher and essayist, wrote about how anomalous it is to see animals die out in the open. Abrugena dissects the general idea into its implications on her personal observations about human nature.

The artist recognises the shortcomings of imagery when trying to deliver a literal point, so the works are instead impressions of ideas linked with freely-associated stock knowledge. The forms in the paintings are from collected photographs encompassing world-famous war photographs to obscure ideological symbols, taken from popular media as well as her personal archive. Scattered amongst the artworks are impractically tall chairs that loom above any who come to decipher Abrugena‘s visual language. The wooden behemoths form the installation, “Ways We View Our Judgements,“ offering a clue to ideal trains of thought in their presence.

The works are fragmented expressions that challenge the viewers’ familiarity with its subjects, further veiled in an enigma of near-abstract representation, and are as elusive in context as the impropriety of visible death.

Rinne Abrugena (b. 1983) is a visual artist with a notable interest in the use of painting as a means to express and visually interpret literary ideas as well as inquiries on human nature. She graduated from the University of the Philippines in 2011 cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.