In addition to his Ripas, Pontaletes, Caixas e Tijolinhos (slats, rods, boxes and little bricks), which were the defining formats of Sérgio Sister’s art practice in the last decade, the artist returns to traditional painting in his first solo show at Galeria Nara Roesler | Rio de Janeiro, and the fourth since he joined the roster of the São Paulo-based gallery. The show features some 25 never-before-seen artworks dating from 2015 to 2017 that see Sister proceed with his ongoing exploration of color, light, and monochromes, in an interplay between surface and three-dimensionality.
This exhibition is a development of the artist’s solo exhibition Ordem desunida (Disunited order) at the gallery’s São Paulo venue in 2015. Now, the Rio public will be able to check out new pieces from a number of series: Caixas – objects built from fruit crates that sum up the artist’s oeuvre in relationships between colors, light, shadows, and depth –, Pontaletes – painted rods propped against one another to create geometric compositions – and Tijolinhos – wall reliefs that reaffirm spatial concepts by using wood, aluminum and cloth-covered aluminum, with colors applied.
Also featured are several paintings created over the last two years using the artist’s trademark technique: the superimposition of chromatic layers, allowing different color fields to coexist harmonically. According to exhibition text author Tiago Mesquita, who wrote the essay for exhibition, Sérgio Sister converts a plane which at first seems monochromatic into a heterogeneous canvas with numerous variations. The art critic notes that the artist isn’t interested in the immediate perception of the differences between things. The contrast happens between similar elements, surfacing in a meditative way, in a process that’s achieved in a subtle way. 'Sister paints delicate passages of hue and light,' he concludes.
In combining wax or metallic pigments with oil paint, Sister reveals the brush’s path across the canvas, evidencing the complexity and heterogeneity of his painting, even when color variations are few. Mesquita points out that the surface of the canvas is at once a continuous plane of color and an accumulation of small, unrelated optical phenomena. 'A continuous color stretching itself out and countless elements coming together in a more or less chaotic way. Although the color keeps it all together, the plane takes on added complexity – it might be a mosaic, with shards seeking some unity. There are fractures, more so than a synthetic image. These fractures or intervals are perhaps what the artist is interested in the most.'
About the artist
Sergio Sister (b. 1948, São Paulo, Brazil) lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. Sérgio Sister is best known for the found wooden beams he arranges into sculptural paintings that resemble crates, porticos, or window frames. Sister paints the beams various colors, dresses them in canvas, and assembles them into configurations that allow for various depths, shadows, and experiences of color to emerge. 'My objective was to allow space and air to operate with, and in, the relationship between the colors,' he says. Sister’s practice pulls Color Field painting into three- dimensions and re-contextualizes classical ideas about the canvas as a window. Today, his work combines painting and sculpture while using supports derived from found structures and from systems designed to serve our everyday needs. The Caixas (crates or boxes), Ripas (strips) and Pontaletes (posts) appropriate the names of the manufactured products from which they are derived. Sister’s work relates to the US tradition of minimalism and to the Neo-Concrete movement of the 1960’s in Brazil. As a part of Geração 80, Sister revisits an ancient theme in painting: the interplay between surface and three-dimensionality, in an attempt to liberate painting in space. What marks his production is a superimposition of chromatic layers, causing distinct fields of colors to coexist harmoniously side by side while preserving its autonomy.
Press release courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.