Using the idea of apparent conflict in urban architecture, the Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea created works that enact contrasts between order and chaos, uniting opposites in a combination of colours and geometric silhouettes. The result of these experiments between paradoxes can be seen by the public of Rio de Janeiro starting at June 11 at Galeria Nara Roesler, located in Ipanema.
'The idea of conflict comes from how two different (adjacent) views coincide, which allows me to speculate on the creation of a face where the conflict is staged. In my desire to dissect the architecture, this is a twist of the works I did in the 'Corners' series (shown between February and April in New York)', Arrechea explains.
Whoever visits the exhibition can see how these works from Arrechea dialogue with masks made by old masters like Picasso, causing them to be re-examined, giving a face to the anonymous landscapes. Superfícies em conflito will show you nine examples of this work and can be seen until August 31.
Since 2015, the artist has been working with masks, a symbolic object that assumes anthropomorphic qualities and that appears in paintings, tapestries and video projection built from the shapes and colours of the facades of the city. In Superfícies em conflito, Arrechea creates masks linking different environments and socio-economic realities into oval frames that resemble abstract faces and bring in a bit of each neighbourhood in itself
The elements of this urban landscape were originally taken from the streets of downtown Havana and Vedado, Cuba, gaining density with the textures of the walls, the passage of time and the latent human footprint in each fragment used in the construction of the masks. 'Each corner represents a cut or split on the built surface, a change in perspective, an axis of encounters. The three-dimensional view of these spaces gives way to the two-dimensional image that often works as an imprecise reflection of one side of the work in comparison to the other', explains Cuban cultural producer Rodolfo de Athayde, who signs the critical essay of the exhibition.
Alexandre Arrechea was a founding member of the Cuban artistic collective Los Carpinteros and has already had individual shows at institutions such as Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana; PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles; and New Museum in New York. For more than a decade, Arrechea has exercised a distancing from that 'redefined useful object', which is associated with the collective work with Los Carpinteros in his solo career, where works appear that mark the starting point for a more subjective language that leads to visuality and more abstract concepts.
Press release courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.