In "Adrenaline" , her fourth exhibition at Addison/Ripley, Isabel Manalo has spread wide her creative wings, continued her embrace of her ethnic heritage and folded the visual components of her last decade of work into this bold, dynamic group of paintings. The title of one small work in the exhibition, "Fearless", perfectly expresses the spirit of this new work.
Manalo speaks of this work as a self portrait of the artist in today's world with its challenges and volatility. It is that and more. Thick layers of strong colors bleed across the surfaces. A pentimento of narrative lies partially buried beneath. The visual arsenal of graffiti, Baybayin script, and childish drawings combined with drips, pours, spills and meandering lines, is as striking as it is familiar. Titles like "Not Woke Enough" reveal an artist deeply aligned with social justice and a passionate resistance to what she sees as a global shift towards repression and intolerance. The surfaces are thick with overlapping paints, creating a third dimension, new to the work, which cracks and bubbles, unleashed, liberated. The colors are wide spectrum from glaring neon and florescent to cool grey.
In "Arenaline", this new work, the artist resists the urge to flee from fear and chooses, instead to use the visual vocabulary of her craft as a tool for change, in her art and in her world. As Isabel Manalo writes, "This new work is a rush of very layered and textured adrenaline towards the quintessential cliche of attaining truth and acceptance and living in a civil society once again. "
"A painting to me is primarily a verb, not a noun, an event first and only secondarily an image". Elaine De Kooning
The gallery is located in Upper Georgetown at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Reservoir Road and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 until 5 and by appointment.
For further information and images please contact gallery director, Ms. Romy Silverstein, at 202.338.5180 or [email protected]