For Room #11, Portuguese artist Gonçalo Sena (b. 1984) has conceived a dialogic installation of sculpture and works on canvas entitled Drought. It relates in several ways to the space between the gallery and the adjacent building in which KEWENIG hosts 12 Rooms, a monthly rotating exhibition program. For the first time, the inaccessible rear part of this room is included into the installation: Sena’s sculpture Montanhas e Escamas (2016) is located behind the glazed elevator—inaccessible to the public—and can only be perceived from the distance. The resin-concrete structure of this fossil-like work was cast from the wooden wall of a clapboard house. The twisted architectural element presents its negative form at the same time as the positive and enters into dialogue with a work of similar size located on the viewer’s side of the lift shaft. Made of concrete, plexiglass and a fragile chain of sea shells, Drought (2019) incorporates the contrast as well as the interplay between the natural world and man-made structures—a theme that plays a central role in Sena’s work. The perishability of both is mirrored not only in these sculptures that remind of architectural fragments or relicts of buildings, but also in images of abandoned beehives or wasps nests placed on a far out corner of the exhibition space. Marked with fragmented horizon lines, two works on canvas indicate an eroding landscape setting for the ensemble.
Gonçalo Sena is based in Berlin. After his studies of Graphic Design at the Faculdade de Belas Artes de Lisboa and the Academia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino, Turin, he obtained his MFA at the Dutch Art Institute of Arnhem. Sena’s work has been presented in numerous solo exhibitions throughout Europe, such as in Casa da Cerca, Almada (2019); Galeria Quadrado Azul, Lisbon (2019, 2017) and Porto (2018); Kunstraum Botschaft / Instituto Camões, Berlin (2017), Galería Heinrich Ehrhardt, Madrid (2015), or Modules Palais de Tokyo at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, Paris (2013). Selected group shows include Fundació Santander, Madrid (2019), IG Metal, Berlin (2019), Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon (2019, 2015), Museum of Art Architecture and Technology, Lisbon (2016), Fondazione Ratti, Como (2014), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), Spike Island, Bristol (2008), among others. Since 2008, Sena is co-editor and designer of the publishing collective ATLAS Projectos.
Press release courtesy KEWENIG.