Iran do Espírito Santo is a Brazilian artist known for Minimalist sculptures and drawings which depict common objects reduced to their basic forms.Read More
Born in 1963 in Mococa, Brazil, Iran do Espírito Santo graduated from the Fundaçāo Armando Alvares Penteado in São Paulo in 1986.
Espírito Santo's playful drawings and sculptures often incorporate subtle illusionistic devices and surprises into familiar forms. In the early watercolour and pencil drawing Untitled (Hand) (1990), Espírito Santo depicts an open-palmed hand, positioned at the upper portion of the otherwise blank sheet of paper. The hand, which ought to be familiar, appears eerie due to its isolation in indistinct space.
Crosses are a recurring motif in Espírito Santo's work. In Untitled (Modified Cross) (1990), a drawing of a pink cross is augmented by a protruding rectangle near its base, hinting at a phallic connotation. In the 1998 watercolour drawing Untitled (Unbalanced Cross), the artist reimagines the form with uneven proportions; while Untitled (Tape 3) (2008) sees the cross painted in translucent layers of acrylic paint, evoking packing tape.
Crosses appear again in the watercolour on paper Trama aberta (2021), where a small patchwork of nine grey crosses form a larger one. The form also appears in the Espírito Santo's three-dimensional works, such as the 2011 sculpture Cross on Wall - H, made of two granite rectangles connected at their middles.
Espírito Santo's engagement with concrete and building materials appeared in early drawings like Untitled (red bricks block) (1998), before translating to more abstract forms on paper like the 'Floor' series (2016). Drawings in the series such as Floor I or Floor V compress the brick structure into an uneven flat surface with protruding blocks that breaking away from the larger form. In Floor IX, the cube appears to be fully untangled, revealing a brick-coloured staircase.
Other construction materials such as nails and bolts appear across Espírito Santo's practice, such as the stainless steel sculpture Thread and Nut 2 (2016) which features an oversized silver nail standing on its head. The permanent marker drawing Untitled (V) (2017) renders the same nail with dense lines creating a see-through shape in three dimensions. In Untitled (VII) (2019), the head of the nail is discarded, revealing a simple cylinder form. Its successor, Untitled (VIII) (2019) slices through the cylinder to offer two smaller variations positioned slightly ajar atop one another.
In 2013, Espírito Santo's first public installation in the United States, a stacked assemblage of white granite blocks that formed an imperfect cube with missing corners, was set up in New York's Central Park. Entitled Playground, the work remained on view until February 2014.
Iran do Espírito Santo's works have been shown widely around the world. Select solo exhibitions include: Galería SENDA, Barcelona (2022); Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro (2019); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, USA (2018); Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo, Brazil (2017); Sean Kelly Gallery, New York (2017); Art Omi, Ghent, USA (2016); Alison Jacques Gallery, London (2014); Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2013); and Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires (2012).
Selected group exhibitions include: Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2019); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Goiás, Brazil (2018); Sala de Arte Santander, Madrid (2018); Beijing Minsheng Art Museum (2017); The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2017); Phoenix Museum of Art, USA (2017); and Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome (2015).
Iran do Espírito Santo lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
Iran do Espírito Santo is represented by Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel in Rio de Janeiro, Ingleby in Edinburgh, and Sean Kelly Gallery in New York/Taipei.
The artist's Instagram can be found here.
Elaine YJ Zheng | Ocula | 2022
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Iran do Espírito Santo is an artist who lives and works Sao Paulo, Brazil. His work combines intricate and very large-scale wall drawings, conceived exclusively for the space in which they are mView More