Cover image of the review

Ramesh Nithiyendran: In the beginning

28 Jan 2017
26 Nov - 26 Feb 2017

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran’s solo exhibition In the Beginning is arresting. Covertly located on the top floor of the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the Sri Lankan–born, Sydney-based artist introduces confronting imagery and a vibrant palette into the University of Melbourne gallery. Despite Nithiyendran’s potentially off-putting approach, the exhibition engages its audience through religious iconography, contemporary identity politics and its play with art-historical discourse.

Curated by Jacqueline Doughty, In the Beginning demonstrates that Nithiyendran already has ambition and significance as an emerging artist. He has exhibited widely in recent years and has been acquired by several major public collections in Australia. Here, he exhibits nineteen painted ceramics, un-fired clay and bronze sculptures, four self-portraits on paper, a colourful mural of bold letter-type and abstract sketches using spray paint, chalk, enamel and marker pen. Eleven artefacts and taxidermy specimens borrowed from the University of Melbourne Collection add an element of artistic-curatorial engagement with the museum, where Nithiyendran flouts the institutional remit for exhibiting new work alongside historical artefacts.

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