Mendes Wood DM is pleased to present Landscapes of the South, a group exhibition themed around the representation of landscapes in South America. Comprised of works made between 1659 and 2019, the works on view were made by early European colonizers in Brazil, modernist Brazilian masters who sought to subvert the vision of said colonizers by building a national artistic language, and contemporary South American artists who reflect on the notion of landscape itself, beyond its political referents.
The exhibition features works by Frans Post (Netherlands, 1612-1680), Friedrich Hagedorn (Poland, 1814-1889), Henri Nicolas Vinet (France, 1817-1876), Nicolau Antonio Facchinetti (Italy, 1824-1900), Giovanni Battista Castagneto (Italy, 1851-1900), Tarsila do Amaral (Brazil, 1886-1973), Alberto da Veiga Guignard (Brazil, 1896-1962), Alfredo Volpi (Italy, 1896-1988), Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato (Brazil, 1900-1995), Jose Pancetti (Brazil, 1902-1958), Miguel Bakun (Brazil, 1909-1963), and Hélio Melo (Brazil, 1926-2001). In addition, the exhibition includes works by the contemporary Latin American artists Patricia Leite (Brazil, 1955), Federico Herrero (Costa Rica, 1978), Daniel Correa Mejía (Colombia, 1986), Adriano Costa (Brazil, 1975), Marina Perez Simão (Brazil, 1981), Alvaro Barrington (Venezuela, 1983), and Lucas Arruda (Brazil, 1983).
The older among these artists guided the emergence of a national artistic practice, some of them teaching at recently established Brazilian academies. The work of the European painters who traveled to Brazil is a reminder that to paint is also to colonise. Prior to the mid 20th century, beyond its coastal cities, Brazil was still mostly uncolonised and inhabited by indigenous and runaway enslaved peoples. Painting was a way of domesticating the continent's frontier. Their work, placed against that of contemporary artists, invites reflections on the ways in which we relate to landscapes today, both geopolitically and psychologically. Environmental and territorial concerns shape how we perceive and manage our environment; art translates these questions into the aesthetic realm. Although the works exhibited exist within their own very unique habits and palettes, we are gifted a glimpse into the palpable connections and conversations of a shared and ever-shifting South American landscape.
Press release courtesy Mendes Wood DM.