Manuel Ocampo: The 80s

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Manuel Ocampo: The 80s
Curated by: TOPAZ ARTS

55-03 39th Avenue
Woodside, NY 11377
March 17th, 2012 - May 12th, 2012
Opening: March 17th, 2012 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

by appointment


TOPAZ ARTS is pleased to present recent paintings by Manuel Ocampo, internationally renowned artist from the Philippines, in the series “The 80s” – featuring backdated works that create a “productive tension through a re-visitation of the past”. The solo exhibition opens March 17 and will be on view through May 12, 2012. Viewing hours are Saturdays 12–4pm or by request – please email to schedule an appointment. The TOPAZ ARTS Gallery is located at 55-03 39th Avenue in Woodside, Queens, NY. Easily accessible by subway: #7 to 61st St; R to Northern Blvd; or LIRR to Woodside Station; details & directions available at

“The 80s” is a series of recent paintings by Manuel Ocampo, Philippine’s most internationally active contemporary artist.  Having emerged into prominence in the late 1980’s, this series is a time-based examination described by Ocampo as “almost antithetical to what was the order of the day – a jovial poetics of dissonance toying with the forms and function of a recycled vernacular inviting a celebratory critique of traditional notions of style”. Choosing to display the works in unconventional places – paintings set on the floor, on the edge of corners or intentionally positioned low on the wall, the small-scale oil paintings on canvas appear unassuming while together the series is perhaps Ocampo’s most abstract and conceptual works. Uncharacteristic of the paintings he is best known for – his subversive allegorical depiction of colonial and religious icons, and his more recent foray into large-scale graphic imagery – this series is a pared down abstraction of paintings, dated from 1988 to 1992 through 2011. What remains is the intellectual rigor and sublime wit prevalent in his works, accompanied by often poetic and humorous titles. Stepping back in time, the work is seeped in painterly concerns, yet is a commentary on painting and art itself.

TOPAZ ARTS kicks off its international series with The 80’s — the first in a series of shows that highlight leading contemporary artists from the Philippines, continuing through 2013. In Fall 2012, TOPAZ ARTS will present Bastards of Misrepresentation II, curated by Manuel Ocampo, featuring artists from Manila. The group show is about the cultural scene happening in the Philippines yet is not a definitive show about Philippine art. Presented for the first time in the United States by TOPAZ ARTS in New York, the series will be a multi-venue exhibition headquartered at TOPAZ ARTS with participating organizations such as the Queens Museum of Art.  Inspired by a research trip conducted by co-founding directors, Todd Richmond and Paz Tanjuaquio, and initiated by the idea of presenting the arts scene encountered in the Philippines, TOPAZ ARTS brings focus to a collective art movement, presenting cutting-edge art that has relevance to the local community while giving exposure to the bourgeoning and vibrant arts scene taking place in Manila, further engaging and re-examining the ties between the U.S. and the Philippines.

See details at