A-Ha Moments @ Sutra Gallery

With works created across 35 years on display, Sutra Gallery presents a retrospective of sorts for Renee Kraal, a former member of the famed Wednesday Art Group. A number of pieces capture my attention on the first walkthrough, only for me to realize that these works were all made in the early 1980s. Prominent figurative outlines and a palette of complementary colours depict visual idioms, a rather simple painting approach that effectively conveys the artist’s sentiments. From the shadows in ‘City Hall, Where Were You?’ and ‘Forest Devas’, to legs tiptoeing on eggshells, an expression of yearning for justice is apparent. In ‘Prejudice and Discrimination’, a bulky & bruising male body spreads his arms wide, effectively blocking out the face of one female body. His line of sight takes the form of a black horizon; how many female artists have Malaysian art historians left out in its canonizing efforts?

Prejudice and Discrimination (1982)