Art institutions and alternative exhibition spaces of Rio de Janeiro are occupied by dozens of exhibitions that run parallel to ArtRio
Projections, paintings, sculptures, site-specific interventions and artworks from the Brazil Golden Art collection have been brought together and into dialogue with the architecture and the specific conditions of the abandoned warehouse. Carlos Vergara, a well-established Brazilian artist, partnered with Zanini de Zanine, better known for his work in the field of design, to create a labyrinth; Oskar Metsavaht, founder of the internationally acclaimed fashion brand Osklen, will premiere an interactive video-installation, photos and paintings that are the result of his immersion in the Ashaninka tribe in the remote north-western state of Acre; Mariana Manhães, known for inventive gadgets and the technological nature of her artworks will show new artwork, similar to the piece she presented at the Vancouver Biennale, in which a video-animation of a plant that breathes and whispers, housed in a cocoon-like organism will stimulate plastic bags held by pvc tubes to inflate and deflate according to the electronic stimuli from the video; Raul Mourão’s A felicidade é feita de metal [Happiness is made of metal] is an installation that draws on his iconic interactive swinging iron sculptures. Other participating artists are: Aderbal Ashogun, Afonso Tostes, Arjan Martins, Cabelo Cadu, Claudia Sehbe, Dudu Garcia, Everardo Miranda, Tomás Ribas, Vicente de Mello, Vik Muniz, Artur Lescher, Barrão, Brígida Baltar, Ernesto Neto, Janaina Tschäpe, José Resende, Luiz Zerbini, Miguel Rio Branco, Otavio Schipper and Tunga.
Piva’s point of departure is Albrecht Dürer’s Great Piece of Turf, which lends its name to the exhibition. His colour-pencil drawings go beyond simple observation exercises. The delicate and intricate portraits of different flora on black backgrounds are elegant and sophisticated in their detail and technique. Varela is almost his antithesis. His mix of painting with colour-painted paper cuttings and paper sculptures creates a psychedelic idealised tropical universe. In his own words: “a psychedelic-baroque-abstract entanglement”.
While Piva observes minute details and colours, elevating mundane and unexceptional species, Varela nurtures his imagination and draws attention to an amalgamation of sensations, forms and colours.
Nature and reality contrast with the unnatural and the imaginary in a show that is an inspirational and contemplative voyage into the nature and nurture of art.
In addition to the previously existing pieces, Van Snick also exhibits a site-specific mural painting which explores the relations between architecture and Burle Marx’s landscaped gardens of the Museum, and Steegman juxtaposes watercolours and drawings of geometric and organic forms in Morfogénesis / Cripsis (2015). The collaborative sound-installation Fôlego (Breath, 2014) created with flautist Joana Saraiva, echoes the sound of a clarinet through seven loudspeakers in the exhibition space.
Berliner’s research of the collection inspired him to address themes surrounding memory and the domestic realm in paintings made with caustic cleaning agents on fabric-covered chairs and pieces of velvet, which establish dialogues with the house’s historic tapestries, carpets and curtains. Berliner also created wood screens covered with silk as structures for large oil paintings and inspired by themes and images he found in works from the collection painted several paintings. “I tried to absorb part of the atmosphere of the place and ended up reconfiguring the repertoire of its architecture and collection in my own narratives, crossing my personal memories with those of the house”, Berliner explained. His main concern was not “the image of the actual things, but their atmosphere.”
The last exhibition to be held at Casa Daros before it closes its doors to the public at the end of the year, this group show presents 130 artworks by 15 Cuban artists who live and work in Havana: Ana Mendieta, Belkis Ayón, Ivan Capote, Javier Castro, José Bedia, Juan Carlos Alom, Lázaro Saavedra, Los Carpinteros, Manuel Piña, Marta María Pérez Bravo, René Francisco, Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal, Tania Bruguera, Tonel de Yoan Capote. Part of the Daros Latinamerica Collection, these works date from between 1975 and 2008 and tell a thirty-year history of the country’s art production. Curated by Hans-Michael Herzog and Katrin Steffen, the selection does not intend to address all the artistic currents in Cuba, but nevertheless portrays an excellent portion of important facets of the artistic production in the country during the last three decades. The central and recurring themes and considerations broached in distinct and multifarious ways in these artists’ works concern the island of Cuba, its culture and history, the country’s singular government and its precarious economic system. Although an exhibition on Cuban art is possibly not the most obvious thing to single out during an art week in Brazil, this is a unique and well-curated show with singular pieces, as is it possibly the last opportunity to visit Casa Daros, a short-lived yet wonderful institution in Rio.