Gian Manik
7 June - 1 July 2017

Listed at #4 in the 2017 edition of Art Collector magazine’s ’50 things collectors need to know’ issue, Gian Manik presents his latest body of new works, completed during a recent artist residency in the Pilbara.


Throughout his practice Gian Manik has sought to represent ‘effect’, in particular the concept of shimmer or reflection.

His paintings are rendered ‘after’ photographs. Photographs of shiny or reflected surfaces of ‘real’ things are his departure. He works by taking photographs of reflective surfaces like crumpled metallic foil shot in differing light and color intensities that he then translates into paint as a re-scaled realist rendition of the photo image.

His expressive gestural paintings are apparently abstract, yet his preoccupation is with a language of representation. In a buried way they can be seen as paintings about light, as in their purest form photographs are light paintings or light reflections with individual content dependent on whatever is reflected in the surface Manik is photographing at the time. This sense of wavering light is heightened in his suspended and unframed paintings onto wafting semi-transparent polyester chiffon.

In April 2017 Manik left the confines of his urban studio for a month-long artist residency in the Pilbara. He responded by working from a conflation of images taken in the studio and from the land of the reflective surfaces of things naturally occurring in the Pilbara landscape; salt at the Rio Tinto mine site, the shimmer of coastal beds of oyster shells:

“It was interesting to combine expected and experiential reflections of landscape. This occurred through photographs of the land and with the photographic reflections of the studio/light/surroundings captured in the foils. It was interesting to see how these works would sit together,, with both artificial and real imagery. The artificial being the reflections of the foil –a conduit – and the real ‘travel memorabilia’. I lost a sense of pictorial expectation in terms of landscape, story or composition. I would consider my work more of a “field”, (continuing off the canvas)…

This sense of beyond, of limitlessness, is manifested in the monumental and expansive scale of Manik’s canvases that are both worked on and presented as un-stretched, and in the unfettered application with aerosol acrylic paint drawn directly onto the surface for subsequent over-painting with acrylic or oil paint applied with brush or spatula.

Gian Manik completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) at Curtin University of Technology, Perth in 2007 and a Master of Fine Arts at Monash University, Melbourne in 2012. He was selected for the innovative Painting. More Painting exhibition in 2016 at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne. Recent solo exhibitions include Ventilation and Natural Light, Artereal Gallery, 2015, First Outside Inside Last, CAVES, Melbourne, 2015; Foils, Utopian Slumps Project Space, 2014;, 2013; Fresh Paint, Sutton Project Space, Melbourne, 2013. His work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Artbank as well as Australian and international private collections.

Barbara Dowse – Curator.

The Artist, Gian Manik, would like to acknowledge and thank FORM – building a state of creativity, for inviting him to participate in their regional residency program.

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Kerrie Satava
31 May - 29 June 2024