Announcing Representation of Christopher Bassi

15 Dec 2021

Yavuz Gallery is pleased to announce representation of Christopher Bassi.

Bassi, born 1990 in Brisbane is a descendant of the Meriam and Yupungathi peoples of the Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula. Working with archetypal models of representational painting, his work engages with the medium as sociological and historical text and as a means to address issues surrounding cultural identity, alternative genealogies, and colonial legacies in Australia and the South Pacific. Through critical re-imagining, his paintings become a space for a type of speculative storytelling that consider questions of history and place and the entangling of personal and collective experience.

Tropical flora is a recurring subject in Bassi’s works, used as symbols to speak of shared climates, cross-cultural experiences and a shifting idea of home, place, and belonging. Works such as Shade from the Sun act as a means for Bassi to locate himself in the world, connecting his home of Brisbane – where he encountered this particular palm – with his family connections to Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait where these plants flourish.

Interested in the act of painting as storytelling, Bassi’s practice interrogates the genre, its history and the hegemonic Western canon of representational paradigms. The often cropped composition of his works suggest a fragment of a larger memory or story, one that is personal to the artist but also perhaps familiar to many of us, inviting viewers to look beyond the edges of the frame to imagine a bigger narrative about place and identity.

Bassi graduated from the Queensland College of Art in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Art. He has participated in numerous exhibitions across Queensland, Australia, and is currently a finalist of the 2021 The Churchie Emerging Art Prize, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia. His forthcoming group exhibitions include: I will tell you my story, curated by Talia Smith, University of Technology Sydney Gallery, Australia (February 2022); and After Fairweather, curated by Hamish Sawyer, Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Australia (June 2022). Bassi will present a solo exhibition at Yavuz Gallery in April 2022.

His work is held in a number of institutional collections in Australia including: The Museum of Brisbane, Queensland Museum, Morton Bay Regional Galleries, and Griffith University Art Museum. 

Images: (top) Christopher Bassi, photo by Rhett Hammerton; (bottom) Christopher Bassi, Shade from the Sun, 2021, oil on canvas, 250 x 200 cm, Museum of Brisbane Collection, photo by Toby Scott