Sonia Gomes Biography

Made out of used fabrics and ordinary—usually discarded—materials, Sonia Gomes' colourful sculptures exude a sense of corporeality. Drawing from her lived experiences as an Afro-Brazilian person, and from the history of the African diaspora in Brazil, Gomes explores the entangled relationship between labour and commerce, and the colonial past and present.

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Sonia Gomes constructs her sculptures from second-hand materials. She began this practice as a child in the Brazilian city of Caetanópolis, which used to be a centre for textile production, where she would incorporate leftover fabric into jewellery. In the wall-hanging Lágrima (Tear) (2014), Gomes created a tear-shaped cluster of vividly patterned fabrics against a blue tablecloth belonging to a friend's family. Gomes also often references memories of her childhood—the rituals of her maternal grandmother, who was a shaman, and her paternal family's Catholic customs—and Brazilian dance in her work.

Whether suspended from the ceiling, hung on the wall, or presented on the floor, Sonia Gomes' sculptures convey a tension between lightness, fragility, and hardness. This is especially evident in the 'Raiz' series (2018), in which scraps of fabric, netting, and ropes are bound to pieces of driftwood. The series' Picaré sculpture possibly evokes a human figure with outstretched limbs, while Correnteza juxtaposes rounded fabric forms with the lines of the wood.

The corporeal presence implicit in many of Sonia Gomes' works is exemplified in Lona (2010): a woven wall sculpture that Hyperallergic's Cleo Abramian described as resembling a 'deflated lung'. Another frequent motif is the birdcage, which appears to harness the wood in Aninhado (2019). The birdcage serves as a potent symbol of freedom and the struggles to obtain it, and references the work of American poet and activist Maya Angelou. Still I rise, Sonia Gomes' major solo exhibition at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in 2018, takes its title from Angelou's famous 1978 poem.

Sonia Gomes Solo Exhibitions include:

Sonia Gomes / Marina Perez Simão, Pace Gallery, New York (2020); Sonia Gomes, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2019); A Vida Renasce, Sempre, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2018); A.R. Penck and Sonia Gomes, Hic Svnt Dracones, New York (2017); O Ritmo da Linha, Espaço Cultural do Fórum Lafayette, Brazil (2011).

Sonia Gomes Group Exhibitions include:

Mecarõ. Amazonia in the Petitgas Collection, Montpellier Contemporain, France (2020); Unconscious Landscape: Works from the Ursula Hauser Collection, Hauser & Wirth Somerset (2019); Experimenting with Materiality, Lévy Gorvy, Zürich (2019); O Triângulo Atlântico, 11a Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018); Everyday Poetics, Seattle Art Museum (2017); Revival, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. (2017); All the World's Futures, 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2020

Sonia Gomes
featured artworks

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Untitled (Trouxa series) by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork textile
Sonia Gomes Untitled (Trouxa series), 2024 Stitching and bindings, various fabrics and ropes, beads and laces
40 x 75 x 45 cm
Mendes Wood DM Request Price & Availability
Compasso do Sol by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing, textile
Sonia Gomes Compasso do Sol, 2024 Drawing, collage, stitching and bindings, vinyl paint, acrylic marker and threads on linen and lace, watercolour on paper
130 x 93 x 5 cm
Mendes Wood DM Request Price & Availability
Untitled (Trouxa series) by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork textile
Sonia Gomes Untitled (Trouxa series), 2024 Stitching and binding, various fabrics and ropes, beads and laces
35 x 63 x 66 cm
Mendes Wood DM Request Price & Availability
Untitled (Pendente series) | Sem título (série Pendente) by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork textile
Sonia Gomes Untitled (Pendente series) | Sem título (série Pendente), 2023 Stitching and bindings, various fabrics and ropes, laces, beads and buttons
260.1 x 26.9 x 25.1 cm
Pace Gallery Request Price & Availability
Casa Alugada by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork sculpture
Sonia Gomes Casa Alugada, 2022 Fabric, cage, stone, cotton thread and pearl on rebar
63 x 67 x 66 cm
Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel Request Price & Availability
Untitled, from Pendentes Series by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork sculpture
Sonia Gomes Untitled, from Pendentes Series, 2021 Stitchings, bindings, different fabrics and laces
342 x 40 x 35 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled, from “A vida não me assusta” series by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork sculpture
Sonia Gomes Untitled, from “A vida não me assusta” series, 2020 Wire, fabric, threads and stone
27 x 37 x 33 cm
Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel Request Price & Availability
Tecidos Leves Atados em Força by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork photography
Sonia Gomes Tecidos Leves Atados em Força, 2013 Stitching, moorings, fabrics and laces
230 x 100 x 20 cm
Hauser & Wirth Request Price & Availability
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Sonia Gomes
current & recent
exhibitions

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Represented by these
Ocula Member Galleries

Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mendes Wood DM New York, Sao Paulo, Paris, Brussels
Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in 540 West 25th Street, New York, United States
Pace Gallery Hong Kong, Beijing, London, Los Angeles, New York +6
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