Urban spaces are rife with the potential for the resolute abstractionist. The harshness of different materials – organic and inorganic – lurches alive in a kaleidoscopic aura of energy.
Cityscapes are buzzing with the very lines, colors, and forms that permeate through abstract compositions. Camille Ver, in her 6th one-woman show, explores these possibilities through acrylic works on canvases that are interspersed with details of tech pen lines. These new additions to her oeuvre are rampant with the energy of a loud, boisterous city juxtaposed with the cool, calming power of abstraction.
Taking its cue from her reference source – namely, the urban environment – it is apt that her latest exhibition is titled URBN. Opening on Feb 8, 2013 at Galerie Stephanie in Libis, the show runs until February 21, 2013. URBN takes Ver’s audience through the distortion of the city, similar to how a dedicated practitioner bobs and weaves into, under, and around metropolitan crags and edifices. That experience of pure verve is captured in compositional abstractions, not unlike Rothko’s modernist forays into the multiforms.
Though the reference point is a large metropolis, Ver intends it not to reflect a single place—rather, her works represent an archetype of cityscapes. Thus, we are often treated to a collage of familiar sites that are neither here nor there. There are often anecdotal references to older structures – and Ver considers even incomplete and crumbling buildings not necessarily to focus on their aesthetic properties – but the intent is to recreate the emotional resonance one gains from an urban location. The broader composition of acrylic is then layered with lines drawn in with technical lines endowing the artwork with an architectural perspective, bringing detail and order to an otherwise blurred form. These lines could very well represent the hard lines of an actual cityscape—created in part by a mixture of power cables, laundry lines, telephone poles, and the steel bars of a construction site. In Ver’s oeuvre, however, they represent a framing element, allowing viewers to contextualize the compositions as works exploring the urban perspective whilst remaining true to the sensibilities of abstraction within the realm of visual art—highly reminiscent of, say, Wassily Kandinsky’s works.
These meanderings aren’t new to Ver. With her background from the College of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Ver bucks the common usage of minimalism in abstraction, preferring large swaths of brushworks and experimentations in color in her practice. URBN being her 6th solo show, Camille Ver is on the verge of becoming an important player in the development of abstract expressionism in the country’s visual arts scene.