Artist

Yusra Martunus

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    Artworks

    18204

    2018

    Acrylic on Canvas, 220 x 195 cm

    Dekat – 13101

    2016

    Stainless Steel, Soil, Drainage Cell, Geotextile, Water, Glow Light, 15 x 90 x 40 cm

    18209

    2018

    Acrylic on Canvas, 220 x 195 cm

    Artist Bio

    (b. 1973, Padang Panjang, West Sumatra)

    Yusra Martunus is an Indonesian artist who uses minimalist signs and subjects in his paintings. His works embody a soft and fluid appearance that consists of cloud-like coloured forms. Since the early 2000s, Martunus has often manipulated the nature of his materials in his objects. He would, for instance, craft wire or aluminium into seemingly soft, pliable or even liquid forms. In other cases, he would make three-dimensional works seem so flat that they take the appearance of paintings. In this way, he uses the materiality of his medium to create unlikely metaphors that complicate its meaning. His seemingly simple works then bend to the intricacies of the materials themselves. On encountering his pieces, the viewer hence has to adapt their preconceived notions to the unfamiliar rules put forth by the artist.

    Martunus pushes his preference for flexibility even further with his employment of elusive titles. Instead of phrases, they usually come in the form of numerical or alphabetical codes, which adds a perplexing cognitive layer to his works. These titles create a puzzle for the viewer to solve, as they seem to take on different meanings in each piece. As is the case with many of Martunus’ works, the question is left open for the viewer to answer. The enigmatic quality of his pieces invites the viewer to challenge themselves and create their own narratives.

    A co-founder of the art collective, Jendela Art Group, Martunus is recognised as a crucial figure in the contemporary regional art scene and is known for his imaginative ideas and creative use of mediums to convey meaningful narratives. He studied at the Indonesian Institute of Art in Yogyakarta and obtained his BFA degree in 2000.  He was awarded the Best of MC Donald Art Award in 1994,  The Best of Indonesia Asean Art Award in 2003 and was a finalist at the Asian Art Awards in 2004. Several of his works have also been sold at auctions, including ‘07104R (399 parts)’ sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong ‘Modern  and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings’ in 2011 for $19,302

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