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Rosana Paulino Biography

Since the 1990s, Rosana Paulino has examined the history of violence in Brazil, with a particular focus on issues of slavery, racial stereotypes, and gender. Central to her wide-ranging practice is the reconceptualisation of narratives and images of Afro-Brazilian women.

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Early Years

Paulino studied at the Universidade de São Paulo, receiving her Bachelor's degree in 1995 and doctorate in 2011.

Rosana Paulino Artworks

Rosana Paulino's practice encompasses installations, engravings, drawings, collages, and sculptures, engaging both personal and national histories to address the lasting effects of slavery in Brazil.

Wall of Memory

'Parede da memória' (Wall of Memory) (1994–2015), which began while Paulino was still an undergraduate, consists of 1500 Brazilian talismans containing small objects known as patuás. Paulino's square talismans are semi-transparent, revealing printouts of 11 photographs from her family albums through a layer of fabric. Typically presented on a wall in rows, 'Parede da memória' transforms otherwise ordinary portraits into potent reliquaries, while shedding light on the historical invisibility of Afro-Brazilians.

Sewing

Paulino's family members also feature in 'Bastidores' (Hoops) (1997), in which printed portraits of her female relatives are stretched on embroidery hoops. Taking a needle and coarse black thread, the artist has sewn over their eyes, mouths, and throats, referencing the violent suppression of Afro-Brazilian people, especially women, in Brazil.

Paulino distinguished between embroidery and sewing in a 2019 interview with New City Brazil, noting that the tendency to equate them reveals 'just how undervalued these techniques really are.' Rather than embroidery, Paulino uses suture, an act that suggests 'a certain amount of force putting the parts together' and thus violence.

Búfala

Re-representations of Afro-Brazilian women are at the centre of 'Búfala' (She Buffalos), comprising drawings and watercolour paintings of horned women. Sexual and powerful, with bloody eyes and tongues out, the búfala are inspired by Brazilian mythology and act as an antithesis to idealised notions of female beauty in Western art traditions.

Búfala was also the title of Paulino's first solo exhibition with Mendes Wood DM São Paulo in 2019, which presented, among other works, an installation of clay sculptures depicting female factory workers.

Jatobás

In her exploration of Brazilian mythology, Paulino has worked with the imagery of jatobás, an archetype of female wisdom, that she portrays as women rooted in the ground with branches and palms for their arms. The 'Jatobá' series (2019) has been exhibited internationally, including at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), alongside 'Búfala', and the 59th Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams (2022).

Exhibitions

Rosana Paulino has exhibited internationally. In 2018, she was the first woman artist of colour to hold a major retrospective exhibition at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, which showed more than 140 works.

Solo exhibitions include The time of things, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2022); Rosana Paulino: The Seam of Memory, Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro (MAR) (2019); Rosana Paulino: The Sewing of Memory, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2018).

Group exhibitions include The Milk of Dreams, the 59th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2022); Beyond the Black Atlantic, Kunstverein Hannover (2020); 22nd Sydney Biennale (2020); Afro-Atlantic Histories, São Paulo Museum of Art and Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2018); Here We Are: The Heart of Art, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum, Albuquerque (2017).

Website

Paulino's website can be found here.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022

Rosana Paulino
featured artworks

Untitled by Rosana Paulino contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Rosana Paulino Untitled, 2021 Paint and watercolour on paper
38 x 28 cm
Mendes Wood DM Request Price & Availability
A geometria à brasileira: verde n.1 by Rosana Paulino contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, photography, print
Rosana Paulino A geometria à brasileira: verde n.1, 2022 Collage, monotype and paint on canvas
80 x 160 cm
Mendes Wood DM Request Price & Availability
Untitled, senhora das plantas series by Rosana Paulino contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Rosana Paulino Untitled, senhora das plantas series, 2019 Paper, watercolour and graphite
32.5 x 25 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
Untitled, senhora das plantas series by Rosana Paulino contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Rosana Paulino Untitled, senhora das plantas series, 2019 Paper, watercolour and graphite
32.5 x 25 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
Sem título, série Jatobá by Rosana Paulino contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Rosana Paulino Sem título, série Jatobá, 2019 Watercolour and graphite on paper
65 x 50 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
Geometria à Brasileira Chega ao Paraíso Tropical by Rosana Paulino contemporary artwork works on paper, photography, print
Rosana Paulino Geometria à Brasileira Chega ao Paraíso Tropical, 2018/2019 Digital printing, collage and monotype on paper
48 x 33 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery

Rosana Paulino
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Represented by this
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Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mendes Wood DM New York, Sao Paulo, Paris, Brussels
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