Maria Cruz: Oo, Maria Cruz 1996–2008, Ateneo University Art Gallery — 8 October to 13 December 2008
Exhibition: Oo, Selected Paintings and Projects by Maria Cruz
Venue: Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
Dates: 8 October to 13 December 2008
Curator: Jo Holder
Exhibitions by Maria Cruz combine anecdote, art history and philosophy. The title for her first survey exhibition, Oo, means Yes in Filipino. We are asked to contemplate the ambiguous space behind the letters Oo. Like an amateur hypnotist Maria Cruz draws out speculative discussion as a corrective to an over-designed and corporate world.
From her first exhibition at Mori Gallery in Sydney in the late 1980s, her work captivates by levitating oppositions and social conundrums.
Maria Cruz is interested in the contradictions in the discourses of art and the way Western art history has politicised the way we view contemporary art.
The survey presents genre themes exploring the borders of art and decoration, art and the social, the painting process and related topics. Distinguished art writer Emmanuel Torres has described the encounter with paintings by Maria Cruz as recalling Winston Churchill’s phrase of an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Torres writes: ‘It plays a mind game with viewers, teasing them to expect a revelation of meaning or message sooner or later’. (In Matrix Works by Filipino Women in the
Ateneo Art Gallery, 2002.)
Reflection and personal exchange play crucial roles in Cruz’s work. Also included are her curatorial projects with Shangri-la collective of Sydney and All Female Band from her home province.
For this important exhibition, Maria Cruz, curator Jo Holder and award-winning designer, Ricardo Felipe have created a catalogue
overview of key installations over the past 10 years. The exhibition catalogue is available from Ateneo Art Gallery.