Contemporary Thai painter Natee Utarit offers a searing critique of Western modernism in his exhibition, “Optimism Is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces”, showing at the ground floor gallery of Ayala Museum, Metro Manila, Philippines from now until April 9 as part of the 2017 Art Fair Philippines.
His 12 works composed of multiple panels forming a diptych, triptych, or polyptych, follow in the tradition of classical religious paintings with elaborate frames and settings but satirise modernism and capitalism by narrating the seduction of local customs and traditions.
Natee studied at the College of Fine Art Bangkok in 1987 and graduated in Graphic Arts from the Painting and Sculpture Faculty at Silpakorn University in 1991. His work is part of many renowned collections including those of Bangkok University, Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, as well as private collectors in Europe and Asia.
His multifaceted practice focuses on painting as a means to explore image making. His complex pictures juggle wide-ranging metaphors usually in the format of the traditional still life, and allude to Thailand’s current social and political landscapes.
After Manila, “Optimism Is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces” will travel to Indonesia and Singapore.
Ayala Museum is located at the Makati Avenue corner of De La Rosa Street in Greenbelt Park and is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 6pm.