• Christopher Bassi, Giant Clam Shell Half 1, 2024, oil on canvas, 170 x 100 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, Giant Clam Shell Half 2, 2024, oil on canvas, 170 x 100 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, oil on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, Oil on canvas, 200 x 167.5 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, Oil on canvas, 200 x 167.5 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, New Monument, 2024, Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm
  • Christopher Bassi, /New Monument, 2024, Bronze, 40 x 36 x 15 cm, Edition of 7 + 1AP
  • Christopher Bassi, /New Monument, 2024, Bronze, 36 x 34 x 15 cm, Edition of 7 + 1AP
EXHIBITION

Christopher Bassi

New Monument

25 May – 6 July 2024

Ames Yavuz is pleased to present Christopher Bassi’s solo show, New Monument, in Sydney. This new body of work continues the artist’s engagement with oceanic thinking, moving through time and across scales to offer powerful monuments to waters that connect us. New Monument speaks to Bassi’s deep reverence for the southern Great Ocean and its capacity to hold cultural memory, the weight of history, and tales of union and separation.

Dr Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris writes, “I am drawn to Bassi’s stories of how these magnetic paintings come into being. These big, physical paintings, heavily shadowed, immaculate oil on canvas, speak to European painting traditions flipped. Here iconoclastic golden orbs soaked in the still life tradition are staged, back-lit treasures. Bassi exposes and paints what might be found in darkened museum vitrines — objects and creatures borrowed and stolen from the flicker of deep time. The shells cast a golden glow. Yet beyond the encounter of the striking aesthetic dimension of these works the paintings echo with story. Of family. Of Bassi’s old family piano with shells acquired and arranged carefully on top. Of grandmothers, aunts and mothers gathered in time. Of forced migrations. Of remembered homes. Loving archives chosen, cared for, kept and painted.”

Bassi magnifies the everyday shells that connect the many routes of the southern Great Ocean, rendering them with care and sepia-drenched detail. Alongside these new paintings, the exhibition also encompasses the artist’s first bronze sculptures, inviting us to reflect on the myths and memories that a nation chooses to immortalise. Through this, Bassi invites us to speculate on our collective future, guided by the Great Ocean as a spiritual body and a vast repository of knowledge.

Bassi (b.1990, Meanjin/Brisbane, Australia) has been recognised in major curated exhibitions, including the 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum, Art Gallery of South Australia (2024), Primavera: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia (2023), The National 4: Australian Art Now, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2023), Mare Amoris | Sea of Love, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane (2023), and PORTRAIT23: Identity, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (2023). His matrilineal Meriam and paternal Yupungathi heritage, alongside his British and Muslim Indian ancestral ties, give him a unique perspective for considering ideas of cultural identity, alternative genealogies, and colonial legacies across Australia and the southern Great Ocean.