CROSS-CUTS GROUP SHOW 1: ORGANIC/FIGURAL
part 1 | january 12 – 30 | nara roesler new york
oil on mirrored aluminum
74 x 48 in | 188 x 122 cm
Carlito Carvalhosa's oeuvre is predominantly made up of installation works, sculpture and painting. In the 1980s, Carvalhosa was a part of the São Paulo-based collective Grupo Casa 7, alongside artists Rodrigo Andrade, Fábio Miguez, Nuno Ramos, and Paulo Monteiro. Along with his colleagues, he produced large-scale paintings with an emphasis on pictorial gesture, an approach that was characteristic of the Neo-Expressionist production. In the late 1980s, following the group's disintegration, Carvalhosa began to experiment with encaustics and wax, either pure, or mixed with pigments. In the mid-1990s, he turned to sculptures, making organic and seemingly malleable pieces using a variety of materials, which gave rise to his so-called "lost waxes". During this period, he also experimented with porcelain sculptures.
As can be seen in the work Sem título (2020), Carvalhosa ascribes deep eloquence to the materiality of the media that he uses, always transcending their formal aspects to explore matters of time and space. In his practice, one encounters tension between form and materiality through a disjunction of the visible and the tactile - what we see is not what we touch, and what we touch is not what we see. Since the beginning of the 2000s, he has created paintings on mirrored surfaces which, in the words of curator Paulo Venancio Filho "put our presence inside them". Beyond Carvalhosa's recurrent techniques and materials, the artist has also frequently experimented with objects such as tissues and lamps, mainly in his creation of installations.
Carlito Carvalhosa was born in 1961 in São Paulo, Brazil. He currently lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Untitled from Úmido series, 2015
digital photograph ed 2/5 + 2 AP
23.6 x 35.4 in | 60 x 90 cm
In the series Úmido or Humid, Cao Guimarães captures images of fallen leaves on the floor surrounded with halos of moisture from past rains. In the artist's words, “It’s the memory of the gesture, the remnant, what remains. They’re nuances of what happened in that place”. Guimarães thus engages with the idea of capturing something that has passed, of an afterward, of traces that are left behind. The artist’s ability to improvise during his creative process allows him to capture objects and situations with a sense of fascination and curiosity that shifts the viewer’s attention to, and understanding of the banal. Despite the static nature of photography, the seriality in Guimarães’ works allows for a sense of sequence and juxtaposition of still images that mirror narrative aspects of a film, offering series that could be understood as fragments, or frames, from one of the artist’s films.
Cao Guimarães’ work derives from an expanded approach towards cinema, initiated during an inceptive moment in video art in Brazil. The artist transitions between formats such as super-8, 16, or 35mm film stock and video, while using cinematic and contemporary artistic language. His imagery creates an inventory of distinct and perhaps visually intriguing moments of everyday life, such as ants carrying confetti after Carnival, or soap bubbles floating along the corridors of an empty house. In documenting the ordinary, the artist finds poetry in places where it wouldn’t be immediately recognizable, expanding the conceptual lexicon of the documentary as a cinematographic genre.
Cao Guimarães was born in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He currently lives and works in Montevideo, Uruguay.
acrylic paint on wood
43.8 x 67.5 in | 111,2 x 171,5 cm
Abraham Palatnik is an iconic figure in the optical and kinetic art movements of Brazil - a pioneer in his long-standing interest in exploring the creative possibilities embedded in the crossings of art and technology. Having studied engineering, the artist became interested in investigating mechanic uses of light and movement. In 1949, he rose to prominence with the creation of his first Aparelho Cinecromático [Kinechromatic Device] effectively reinventing the idea of a painting by using different voltage bulbs moving at different speeds and directions to create kaleidoscopic images. The piece was shown at the 1st Bienal de São Paulo (1951) and received an Honorable Mention from the International Jury for its' originality.
Abraham Palatnik subsequently initiated his work with reliefs, coined Progressive reliefs, which he made out of various materials (such as wood, duplex cardboard and acrylic), manually cut and intercalated to create a sense of rhythmic undulation. W-449 is part of the W-series, which he began developing in 2004, as a derivation from his earlier Progressive reliefs. The process begins with the artist making a pair of non-figurative paintings on wooden plates, which are cut into long, thin, equally wide strips with laser. He then assembles them back together, intercepting strips from both paintings, as if to re-build another, yet vertically displacing the strips. These shifts accentuate the rhythm and dynamism of the painting’s composition —the colors create a sense of vibration, which are further emphasized by the vertical lines that trace back to the process of making.
Abraham Palatnik was born in Natal, Brazil, in 1928. He died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2020.
Pele XII, 2009/2014
wood and iron pins
82.7 x 23.6 x 17.7 in | 210 x 60 x 45 cm
Marcelo Silveira's work questions and challenges long-established categories related to art, such as sculpture, folk art, craftwork, and collecting. His works often depart from the idea of materiality and how anything can become a medium, spearheading his use of wood, leather, paper, metal, plastic, and glass amongst many other materials. In line with this, Silveira's investigation also engages with the use and purpose of materials or objects, which he suggests is defined by a common, socially determined repertoire and can be uprooted by recreating familiar shapes using unexpected materials. Notably, Pele XII [Skin XII] offers a repurposing of wood pieces into a biomorphic sculpture - the traditional functionality of the medium and its past uses, thus comes to be replaced by a nearly figurative allusion to the malleability, smoothness, and bloom of skin.
Additionally, the concept of collecting is central to the artist's practice, with a constant play between production and appropriation. Silveira addresses the question in numerous ways, whether it be by presenting an accumulation of found artifacts such as postcards, rulers, or perfume bottles, by incorporating un-usable domestic utensils, or by showcasing his work as an assemblage, whereby each part is a fragment of a whole, also encapsulated in the work Pele XII. Organization or arrangement is, therefore, a fundamental aspect of the artist's work, as an instrument for re-defining and reformulating his materials.
Marcelo Silveira was born in 1962 in Gravatá, Pernambuco, Brazil. He lives and works in Recife, Brazil.
Found and appropriated artists, 1980/2017
Paulo Bruscky is one of the leading figures of conceptual art in Brazil. His practice is based on an idea of art as a means of information and is characterized by a deep sense of experimentality, resulting in a wide variety of works that include visual poetry, books, performances, urban interventions, letters, photocopies, amongst others. Bruscky is also known for his challenging of social and political norms in a manner that resembles activism, in a moment that coincides with and disputes the validity of military governments and dictatorships across Latin America.
Bruscky began his research in the 1960s with his participation in the movement poetry/process, where he met Robert Rehfeldt, a member of Fluxus. He was then introduced to the international circuit of Postal Art, which Bruscky engaged with starting in 1973 and pioneered Brazil. He developed an intense dialogue with several artists from the Fluxus and Gutai movements, attending to those who came from regions suffering from socio-political oppression. Many of his works challenge the very sense of art-making, questioning what art's function is, what validity its production methods and norms have, and where its poetry lies.
Paulo Bruscky was born in 1949, in Recife, where he still lives and works.
Lambisque - serie Bestiário, 2017
oil paint and aluminum paste on canvas
78.7 x 59.1 in | 200 x 150 cm
Bruno Dunley’s pictorial universe constantly seeks to expand the limits of the visual field. His practice explores painting not only as a method of expressive figuration but also as a means of reflecting on the inherent specificity of the medium, in terms of its materiality and role within representation in artistic tradition. Dunley is part of a new and prominent generation of Brazilian painters —he is one of eight founders of the Grupo 2000e8 from Sao Paulo, a collective of young artists sharing an interest in painting and a desire to develop critical approaches to the method within the contemporary art scene.
Dunley’s process of making departs from carefully constructed compositions, which he gradually begins to correct and alter, revealing the lacunae in the apparent continuity of visual perception. Recently, the artist’s increasingly frequent use of vibrant colors has revealed a growing interest in achieving more aggressive, expressive, and contrasting compositions. Notably, Lambisque is part of his Bestiário series, which presents an engagement with humanoid figures, characterized by monster-like features that simultaneously instill a sense of eroticism and stupefaction. In this series, Dunley also explores his technique turning to more childish or naive delineations. With this, the very making of the pieces evoke a certain sense of bestiality with rather coarse forms, histrionic colors, violent compositions, and unequal use of paint on the canvas. Ultimately, the common themes in Dunley’s practice are two-fold: the artist paints compositions derived from both, everyday images and his minute study of the pictorial field. The imagery converges in a dramatic representation of the visual language. Gestures, planes, and color combinations allow for the figuration to emerge as an alphabet, sharing common grounds, while the process of making is simultaneously foregrounded
Bruno Dunley was born in 1984, in Petrópolis, Brazil. He currently lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
Minha pele sua pele, 2017/2019
embroidery on fabric
3 pieces of 15.7 x 15.7 in | 3 peças de 40 x 40 cm
Brígida Baltar’s practice spans across a wide range of mediums, which includes actions, photography, video, installation, drawing, embroidery, and sculpture. Baltar’s artistic production began in the 1990s with ‘small poetic gestures’, developed in her studio-home in Botafogo, a neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. During nearly ten years, the artist collected items of domestic life such as water dripping through small cracks on the roof or dust falling from bricks. The act of collecting these unconventional traces of everyday life subsequently expanded outside of her home, giving rise to the Coletas series. In an attempt to capture mist, dew, or ocean breeze Brígida Baltar undertook an ultimately poetic but impossible or rather, intangible task. According to curator Lisette Lagnado, ‘the fabulizing process alludes to the return of a pre-industrial, infantile and primitive narrative. From an exemplary matrix, the story evolves into collective memory.’
Brígida Baltar’s recent works derive from her early investigations, as she still uses previously collected bricks and dust to draw images of her hometown, or sculptures of her body, creating pieces that intertwine past and present works and experiences. More recently, Baltar has been producing embroideries that relate to the body and to the skin as a starting point often channeling the idea of the chimera as a means to merge ideas around bodily memories and nature. Brígida Baltar’s embroideries also emerged as the artist worked on developing a different relationship with temporality, using waiting periods and pauses of activity as opportunities to engage in artisanal experimentations with time.
Green Juice, 2017
pigment print on cotton paper ed 1/6 + 2 PA
44.3 x 28.7 x 1 in | 112,4 x 73 x 2,5 cm
Lucia Koch's works often engage with investigations around space, exploring its possibilities and seeking to offer new ways of understanding, experiencing, and inhabiting it. By establishing a dialogue between her artworks and the particular architectonic elements of the space they occupy, Koch reimagines and interferes with materiality, light, textures, colors, and other tangential lines. According to critic and curator Moacir dos Anjos, the artist 'reorganizes the understanding of visual spaces [...] and establishes an interaction with the public, through negotiating with uprooting perceptions and the disconcerting effect this causes'. Using light filters and textiles, Lucia plays with light and its chromatic effects, creating tensions between the inside and the outside, transparency, and opacity and thus, altering the nature of specific spaces.
Since 2001, Lucia Koch has been photographing the interior of carton boxes and empty packaging in such a way that they come to resemble architectural structures. Also playing with notions of perspective, once these images are hung on a wall, they seem to allow for an extension of the space they exist in. Koch also experiments with scale, where the typically small becomes significantly larger and seems to become almost inhabitable, raising the question of what turns space into place and uprooting the norms that dictate our spatial expectations and experiences.
Lucia Koch was born in 1966 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. She lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.