b. 1948, Brazil

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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Patuá Azul 2 by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork sculpture
Sonia Gomes Patuá Azul 2, 2021 Different fabrics, embroidery, cotton threads and crystal ball
61 x 26.7 x 15.2 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
Quando o sol nascer azul by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Sonia Gomes Quando o sol nascer azul, 2021 Fabrics, “Renascença” lace, Richelieu lace, acrylic paint, nylon threads, metal and fragments
322 x 283 x 30 cm
Blum & Poe
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 Enquire
Untitled, from A vida não me assusta series by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork sculpture
Sonia Gomes Untitled, from "A vida não me assusta" series, 2019 Wire, fabric, thread, and stone
18 x 23 x 30 cm
Pace Gallery
Vôo by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork sculpture, textile
Sonia Gomes Vôo, 2014 Moorings and different fabrics on wire
100 x 100 x 60 cm
Pace Gallery
Eu Me Levanto, from Raiz series by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork sculpture
Sonia Gomes Eu Me Levanto, from Raiz series, 2018 Mooring and sewing on wood
70 x 82 x 127 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
Untitled, from the Risco do Tempo series by Sonia Gomes contemporary artwork works on paper, mixed media
Sonia Gomes Untitled, from the Risco do Tempo series, 2020 Mixed media on paper
55.5 x 37.5 cm
Mendes Wood DM Contact Gallery
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 Enquire

Sonia Gomes Recent Exhibitions

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Sonia Gomes Represented By

Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Brazil Mendes Wood DM Brussels, New York, São Paulo
Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in 540 West 25th Street, New York, USA Pace Gallery Beijing, East Hampton, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto, Seoul

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