Drawing on draftsmanship, painting, literature, and installations, Michael Tedja’s oeuvre erupts into a flamboyant and visually playful whole. His boisterous storms of imagery recall the CoBrA movement of artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam briefly banded together after World War II. Aiming to banish bourgeois rituals as well as theorizing around avant-garde art, they embraced expressionist spontaneity, an unrestrained use of vivid colors, folkloric elements, handwriting and graffiti.
But Michael Tedja has taken out the folkloric and anti-intellectual, his painting is a kind of IQ test. With abstract and figurative visual vocabulary complementing each other, Tedja’s imagery is expressive and linguistic, full of references and autobiographical elements. This monograph encompasses large-scale paintings, his overwhelming installation of large drawings Hypersubjective, as well as The Color Guide Series. Here, Tedja deploys textured paint, crayon and chalk on commercial paper stock-the color bars printed along the paper’s edge are left exposed-turning mass-produced standard into something decidedly unique. Yet by constantly recycling and repurposing images, Tedja explores the alterability of meaning within the visual context of globalization.