Carpintaria is proud to present its new exhibition, a dialogue between Alex Cerveny (São Paulo, 1963) and Efrain Almeida (Ceará, 1964). A shared interest in narratives of the body, nature, and mythological or sacred origins is one of the most evident connections between the work of these artists. Using painting, watercolour, sculpture and embroidery, Cerveny and Almeida bring together historical references and biographical narratives. The interaction between the two artists is interwoven in their most recent works and earlier works from the 1990s and 2000s, demonstrating in both practices a fondness for manual labour. Their process of making is essentially marked by the artists’ hands—be it in the thoroughness of Cerveny’s paintings or in the details of Almeida’s sculptures.
In his work, Alex Cerveny collates references that vary from iconography to mythological narratives, from everyday elements to contemporary references, both erudite and prosaic. His paintings are suspended in time-space, inhabited by human figures that transcend the physical plane, often materialised as spiritual, cosmic presences. These creatures’ habitats are scenes of apocalyptical painting, where the representation of nature often appears engulfed by fire and smoke, expressing the figurative desire from a sort of 'devastated land'.
In Efrain Almeida’s work, the visual representation of animals such as hummingbirds carries a heavy symbolic load and is a recurrent theme. The birds appear both flying over geometric colour fields in the watercolours from the series 'Prisma' [Prism] (2021) and performing sculptural flights in Flying (2021), a bronze sculpture. The artist examines colour from the perspective of the hummingbird’s iridescence, as their colourful feathers are only revealed to us through the reflection of sunlight. The self-representation of the body, another frequent theme in his practice, also appears in the exhibited group of works. By sculpting his own image in Autorretrato [Self Portrait] (2014–2020), the artist is referencing ex-votos, a typical offering found in Catholic churches in the Northeast of Brazil, shining light on the biographical dimension of his oeuvre.
The proposition of a conversation between these two artists attests to Carpintaria’s mission to encourage an ample exercise in reflection between different authors, modes of expression and languages.
Alex Cerveny (São Paulo, Brazil, 1963). Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil, representend by Bergamin & Gomide. Among his solo exhibitions, the following stand out: Todos os Lugares, Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Palimpsesto, a retrospective of his graphic work at Museu Lasar Segall, São Paulo, Brazil (2019); Glossário dos Nomes Próprios, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2015); Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2015); and III Mostra do Programa de Exposições, Centro Cultural São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2012). Among the group exhibitions, the following stand out: Nous Les Arbres, Fundação Cartier, Paris, France (2019); Da Tradição à Experimentação, Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2019); and Queermuseu – cartografias da diferença na arte brasileira, Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2018).
Efrain Almeida (Boa Viagem, Ceará, 1964). Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, represented by Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel. Among his solo exhibitions, the following stand out: A Memória da Mão, MCO Arte Contemporânea (Porto, Portugal, 2018); Instâncias do Olhar, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel (São Paulo, Brazil, 2017); Uma coisa linda, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, (Recife, Brazil, 2017); Uma pausa em pleno voo, Paço Imperial (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015); Lavadeirinhas, SESC Santo Amaro (São Paulo, Brazil, 2015); O Sozinho, Casa França-Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013); Marcas, Estação Pinacoteca (São Paulo, Brazil, 2007). Among the group exhibitions, the following stand out: Casa Aberta, Casa França-Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2021); Escrito no Corpo, Carpintaria (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2020); 29. Bienal de São Paulo (2010); 10. Bienal de Havana (2009).
Special thanks: Bergamin & Gomide.
Press release courtesy Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel.