Natee Utarit’s latest solo exhibition, co-presented by The National Art Gallery and Richard Koh Fine Art, features a selection of 25 oil canvas/linen works from a past series entitled Optimism is Ridiculous: Paintings on Figure of Speech, Paradoxes and Inward Journey. The paintings focus on three components — human beings, animals and objects. The selection mainly depicts renditions of animals in dramatic lighting reminiscent of baroque paintings. Viewed together, the works are said to construct sentences or phrases that connect to a particular observation, highlighting social contexts and other understanding of the world in and outside Thailand.
Natee’s still-life works have been collected by institutions such as Bangkok University, Queensland Art Gallery and Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art as well as private collectors in Europe and Asia. His solo exhibitions included Optimism is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces (at the National Gallery of Indonesia last year), Illustration of the Crisis (Bangkok University Gallery in 2013), After Painting (Singapore Art Museum in 2010) and The Amusement of Dreams, Hope and Perfection (Art Center of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok in 2007).
Among his group exhibitions were Thai Eye at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and Saatchi Gallery in London, Art of Asean at Bank Negara Museum and Gallery, Time of Others at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and Asian Art Biennale 2013: Everyday Life at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung.
'Optimism is Ridiculous' is showing at Balai Seni Visual Negara, 2B Gallery, 2 Jalan Temerloh, KL. Until May 31. Daily, 10am-6pm.