Tiago Mestre, a Portuguese artist who has gained prominence in the Brazilian art scene, exhibits his works for the first time at Galeria Millan from July 12 through August 12. The show, Noite. Inextinguível, inexprimível noite. [Night. Inextinguishable, inexpressible night.], borrows its title from the poem Lugar II by Portuguese poet Herberto Helder (1930-2015) and features a selection of 60 artworks that explore the issue of form and the myth of the modern project relating to sculpture. Materials such as clay, bronze and plaster give shape to works that are in a constant negotiation between design and unpredictability, between plan and expressive freedom.
The set of works includes sculptures of different scales, video, interventions with the gallery’s architecture and a large installation (a landscaping element that organizes the whole exhibition). These works refer to the first human attempts at assimilating the natural within projectual thought, mapping the process of assimilating the landscape starting from the intellect. “The idea of the design as a backdrop, as the orchestration of a system," explains Mestre.
Each of the sculptures seems to demonstrate a concise act, that’s clearly manual, as if it were unfinished or in a perpetual state of becoming, often leaving an ambiguous affiliation as to its disciplinary nature. The use of color emerges punctually, not so much as a system, but rather as a resource that accentuates, corrects or clarifies specific issues in the work. This semantic uncertainty, or programmatic transversality, is one of the focal points of the work. The problematization of the performative capacity of each of the works is made evident (if not parodied) in situations such as the one of the sculpture of two hills (a work that is both landscape sculpture and a niche for other minor works).
The video, which will be shown on the second floor of the gallery, stands as a kind of general synthesis of the show. The immateriality of this medium contrasts decisively with the predominantly objectual side of the remaining works. In it, we see a slow, silent and interminable transmutation of geometric and organic forms, in an “apathetic” reference to the myth of Brazilian architecture, to its unique relationship with nature and the landscape.
Although some architectural procedures are involved in his process—such as sketches and scale models—his focus is more directed toward the observation of the bodies' experience in the space, whether they be natural, sculptural, or architectural. It seems that this intimacy between nature, space and form, is what Mestre’s exhibition seeks to unveil.
One of the most significant painters of the 80s generation, Rodrigo Andrade will display his most recent works at Galeria Millan and Millan Annex, from June 1 to July 1 of 2017. Duas Cavernas (Two Caverns) covers the main tendencies the artist has concentrated on intensively in recent months. Known for his ability to radically change the course of his work, in the quest for new lines of research, Andrade is experiencing a moment of greater synthesis, in which the various paths of his 33-year career appear to converge more profound interaction. With this exhibition, he creates an interesting interface of dialog with the major retrospective exhibition of his work at the end of the year at Estação Pinacoteca Museum.
In all, the exhibit will include 25 to 30 canvases, organized around three main axes: the landscapes, largely inspired by the classical works of masters such as Ruysdael, Uccello and Bellini (occupying the main gallery); the abstract paintings, the Bilaterals, consisting of two large chromatic fields, in equilibrium (shown in the annex); and, as the balancing factor, since they introduce questions common to the two previous groups – a series of recent works, the “binary figures".
These figures move between the figurative and the abstract and invariably consider the idea of the pair, of the reflection, an aspect frequently seen in all the artist's work. Some of these binary bring aspects that hark back to the universe of cartoons or to references of art history (as in the case of Fera e Princesa (Beast and Princess), in a clear dialog with Uccello's St. George and the Dragon, and Bicho e Pedra, depois de Neves Torres (Creature and Stone, after Neves Torres), based on a work by the author named in the title). Others are more indecipherable, like the gigantic 6 x 11 meter mural that Andrade will paint on one of the Annex walls.
The grottoes, catacombs and rocky outcrops, picturesque themes of the 19th century, have long captivated the artist and he has been collecting images of this type since 2010 and reworking the theme pictorially, until reaching the current stage. The caverns and his other works are dimensional bodies that project themselves beyond the plane, conquering space. In dealing with the masses of paint – in work that harks back to the geometrical forms of his paintings of the 2000s, which became a kind of artistic signature – Andrade uses masks and carefully designed templates in the cutting out process.
Since the early years, when his work and that of other colleagues – meeting at the Casa 7 (Number 7) atelier – came to the public's notice with their participation in the 18th São Paulo Biennial, there have been a number of radical changes in his output. The most recent of these was in 2010, when Andrade – who had been producing markedly abstract work – surprised the circuit with the black, immaterial landscapes, based on photographic records, displayed at the 29th Biennial (2010). Now, in addition to boundless vitality and a turning back in search of a greater incidence of color and form, the artist seems more inclined to tread parallel paths, discovering in each of them aspects to feed his research.
Galeria Millan holds, from 3/11 to 4/8, the group show “Portraits”, curated by art critic and researcher Rafael Vogt Maia Rosa. The exhibition gathers 30 works by Brazilian artists that, since the 60’s, explored the portrait’s genre as a field of aesthetic investigation.
“This genre allowed approaches to diverse cultural processes and realities, such as photography and painting, the universe of conceptual art and fashion," says the curator. "There were many Brazilian artists who explored this field; The selection emphasizes the dialogue between the artists, from unpublished artworks by names represented by the Millan Gallery to items from private collections that are rarely exposed to the public.”
Integrate the show: Wesley Duke Lee, Tunga, Mario Cravo Neto, Waldemar Cordeiro, Geraldo de Barros, Carlos Fajardo, Claudio Tozzi, Regina Parra, Lenora de Barros, Maya Luxemburg, Vik Muniz, Sergio Romagnolo, Boi, Rodrigo Andrade, Ana Prata, Gilda Vogt, Otavio Schipper, Tatiana Blass, José Resende, Fernando Zarif, Bob Wolfenson and Janaina Tschäpe.
“Questions raised by Wesley Duke Lee since the 1960s - on the ritualization of the portrait process, commissioned art production and serial reproduction, among others - served as inspiration for this show, as well as conversations held with Tunga between 2014 and 2016", explain Rafael Vogt. In one of these meetings, Tunga, instigated by the critic, established parallels between his work and that of Mario Cravo Neto, both gathered in this exhibition: "Mario Cravo was in a position to look and incorporate that archaic world that is present in Brazil, where everyone is animist, want it or not. This is latent in the construction of subjectivity that people experience culturally, not because they are Brazilian, but because they live in a still fresh contact with archaisms that are constitutive of that society.”
Celebrities and anonymous figures are represented on the show. The techniques and supports used are diverse, from the digital prints The Woman Who Is Not BB (1971), made by Waldemar Cordeiro, from the iconic image of the face of a Vietnamese girl, and Kate (2011) by Vik Muniz, based on a portrait of Kate Moss; To the transposition of a familiar memory into the space of contemporary art, contrasting public and private, in José Resende's “Portrait of My Father” (1965) (photograph and acrylic box in metallic support) or the plastic sculpture “Girl with Towel in the head” (2000), by Sergio Romagnolo, which used as a model the artist's daughter.
There is also a self-portrait (1983/87) by the painter José Carlos Cezar Ferreira (Boi), famous character of the Brazilian artistic scene in the 1980s, currently little known by the public. "The curatorship highlight the experiments carried out in Brazil exploring the portrait genre, opening the show for the experience of visitors, without imposing any type of chronology or interpretation. We celebrate in this exhibition the multiple expressions of contemporary Brazilian art, taking into account the formation of the public and the perception of the 'primitive technic' in our culture", concludes Rafael Vogt.
Artur Barrio and Cristina Motta present at Anexo Millan the exhibition “AGUATÁ - ...... C .....A ...O .... S”, displaying 40 pictures from the series “Poisoned Waters”, “Traces of a work” and “Enfante”. Besides Cristina Motta’s photography, Artur Barrio appropriates the exhibition space, transforming it into his own studio. Only days before the opening, the artist creates an unique situation or experience, which can be seen by the public from March 8 until April 8.
Artur Barrio’s work challenges the traditional artistic vocabulary, in that the word "exhibition" (and its historically sedimented meaning) does not seem to suit what the artist proposes in the way he displays his art works in galleries and institutional spaces. More than extending, reducing or distorting the current meaning of concepts such as exhibition space, art work and exhibition, Barrio employs another logic, questioning what is the essence of these ideas and deliberately frustrating the expectations that guide us, as the audience, as we come across them.
By recognizing the modus operandi not only of the art system, but also systems in general (including the world system), and by not identifying with them, Barrio does not resign himself to create a work that, in opposing such systems, continues to recognize (negatively) the same essential issues. More than that, his radical poetics shows that the act of cluttering, the breakdown of boundaries, the idea of the ephemeral and the reversibility of situations are "exercises of freedom" with strong emancipatory power.
While occupying the long main hall of the Anexo Millan (opened in 2015 and located only 50 meters away from the Millan Gallery), photographer Cristina Motta presents 40 unpublished images produced in 2016, divided into three series: "Traces of a Work", "Poisoned Waters" and “Enfante”.
Passionate about painting, the artist seeks the essence of this technique through photography. This devotion is perceived when we look at her photographic works that are almost abstract in principle, but at a closer perspective they reveal a great poetic force, originated in her experiments with nature, lights, shadows and movement. Cristina Motta’s work navigates between illusion and detail, highlighting certain shades of colours, such as blue, which predominate in seemingly obscure images that reveal fragile world situations and great beauty.
The idea for this project took place in 2012, during a daytrip to Coney Island, in the outskirts of New York. On my way back to Manhattan, I began noticing strangers who were waiting to cross the street under the blistering sun of a New York summer day. Their collective posture - that of mere pedestrians waiting for the green light - made them very similar, yet, their clothes and tattoos, their anatomy, skin colour and attitude (introspective or euphoric expressions) distinguished them apart. I photographed them with my small-format Leica and kept these photos as simple mementos of a traveller. Later on, when I looked over them on my computer, an urge took over me to photograph and organise scenes like that in different places around the world, highlighting one of the most striking paradoxes of the human being, so obliviously and conspicuously registered in that first instance: that of being alike yet different, that wish to be part of a group and at the same time, the need to stand out.
This ambition of mine, to create representative panels of diverse yet generic human identities, drew me to many countries and cultures. A year later, I returned to Coney Island, this time well equipped with a medium-format camera that has as its main characteristic a very high definition, for, ideally, these photos should be amplified when exhibited in order to allow the spectator to roam its eyes over the images and to identify details that even the photographer failed to notice when releasing the shutter. I also decided to photograph more particular groups, such as the orthodox Jews of Crown Heights, the African-Americans of Harlem, as well as suited up executives on their way to work in London, on a typical English winter morning. What’s more, most of the photos derived from my fortuitous search for places where the influx of people seemed adequate to my instincts.
As I placed the camera at a zebra crossing and pointed it at pedestrians, I faced a form of instinctive suspicion. Nevertheless, as expected, I witnessed expressions of fashion, transformations of urban life and the ethnic plurality of the major metropolises – all framed by the captured scenes and characterized by the climatic conditions of each location, determining the passers-by’s clothing choices and mood.
The process of creation of these photos followed some strict principles: the takes were exclusively carried out at zebra crossings or security passages, and the people were present in reality at the locales where they are shown, even though some of them were not photographed side by side, as shown in the final copy. I made some montages in order to emphasise the very assumptions that led me to cultivate this idea. As rational as a project like this may seem, the unexpected will always pervade when dealing with the photographic decisive moment. During the years that I dedicated myself to this project, I quickly came to realize that even with a tripod in hands and a precise plan in mind, not much can be controlled when you have a camera in the middle of the streets. The streets are alive and this liveliness is imposed upon us.
Us before it
The first painting I ever saw by Guilherme Ginane depicted a chaise longue on (or in) a grey background. It makes sense to highlight the ambivalence of both positions – on and in –, because the background blended with the floor, just like the so-called seamless backgrounds in advertising photography studios. The only anchor point and reference to perspective was the shadow beneath the chaise longue. And while, on the one hand, this shadow prevented the depicted image from being reduced to the two-dimensionality of the canvas, on the other, the background disoriented the incipient perspective in a claustrophobic, disturbing trompe-l'oeil, where the infinite was both wall and floor, transparency and opacity, full and empty at the same time. There was nothing but the chaise longue and its shadow, lost in space. And I couldn’t take my eyes off of the picture, as though trying to focus on a black hole.
It wasn’t just the chaise that got me thinking (by subject matter association) about “Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles”, which Van Gogh painted to take his revenge on the bed-rest – or, even before, the disease that left him bedridden in that room. Ginane quit advertisement for painting. If advertising was his disease, it's likely that painting is his vengeance.
Of “Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles”, Italian critic Lionello Venturi wrote that “Van Gogh (…) wished to represent sleep and could not. The tragedy of his mind was approaching, heralded by signs of derangement, and it allowed him neither rest nor sleep. Calm reigns in the abandoned room, but it is a calm without hope and without pity. (…) It is a rest that is born of despair” .
The perspective in Van Gogh’s Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles, is multiple, as though, lacking a human figure, each object had obtained the right to a singular independent point of view, as though parallel universes or dimensions coexisted in the same painting, making an unstable totality, slightly distorted by the contradiction and the incompatibility of fragmentary autonomies.
Guilherme Ginane’s objects on the tabletops also have an autonomous and oddly irreconcilable existence. The cigarettes, the matches, the flower pots, the books, etc., overlap with the table, which oscillates between background and surface; they drip like paint on the canvas, they float over the table more than rest on it; they dispute the prevalence of parallel planes and incompatible perspectives with the table. There’s a fight with painting there, that has very little to do with rest.
“I used to struggle a lot with my work. I’m getting more confident now. The plane is changing, it feels like an achievement,” Ginane told me about a year ago. “Once Paulo Pasta [his former teacher] wrote that shoegazing is an insecure gaze. I’m starting to look up and other, yet unrecognized elements are popping up, light bulbs and walls where there were once cups and carpets.
The change in plane perspective and its seeming mobility result in a metamorphosis of things: the gaze that once was laid on strips of carpet at table edges now sees walls; what once was a cup now turns into a light bulb at the top of the painting. In other words, the plane turns, bends without bending, bending as though it might turn three-dimensional, yet still remains flat, and in this idle movement (the plane that turns without turning) the objects also change. The painting embeds more than one point of view, at times even incompatible points of view, in such a way that objects turn into other objects without ceasing to be the same. This coexistence in Ginane’s painting represents an arc, a change in the gazing subject’s point of view (artist and observer), and refers to an experience in the world.
The difficulty of a background that is infinite and surface at the same time, represented by the tactile evidence of the paintbrush, of the overlapped layers of paint, already played an assertive and destabilizing role in previous works: the figures in the foreground – chairs, cigarettes, cups, etc. –, lost in space, had their point of view, their three-dimensional autonomy, halted by the shallow, two-dimensional and opaque background with which they ended up merging. Even later, when the tabletops and carpets under the tables start popping up, the two planes still blend, by a telescopic effect, into the same surface. There is a tension and a viscosity between things and planes, simultaneously diverse and still unique.
At any rate, the difficulty is less of a problem than part of the solution. It sets boundaries, points the way to the painter. When he didn’t have money to buy oil paint, Ginane started working with charcoal and opened another powerful path in his work. In his adolescence he didn’t go to school for 5 years, due to a paralyzing phobic depression. “I was afraid of the wind,” he says. He’s been to doctors, tried voodoo and ended up in a psychoanalyst's office, where he discovered abstract painting (he had discovered figurative painting with a Degas ballerina poster in the hall of the building where he used to live with his mother and brother in Meier, Rio de Janeiro).
“I was dying to paint the human figure,” he says about a boundary that remains essential in his work to this day. As in “Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles”, his paintings are still lifes where the conspicuous absence of human figure, indicated only by the silent trail of cigarettes and matches, ends up referring to the presence of the eye, of the viewer.
“Literature touches me more than contemporary art. Project art is similar to advertisement. From my point of view, painting happens in painting. There is a muteness in painting, that no words can account for,” he sums up.
As opposed to an increasingly rhetorical art, Ginane chose to name his exhibition after one of the most ironic statements (“This will have been another happy day”), uttered by a motionless woman, buried up to her neck, in Happy Days, by Beckett, a writer whose work also tends toward silence.
All life is in this absence, in the battle between planes, in the paradox of the idle metamorphosis of objects and points of view, which shifts the focus to the position and to the eye of the viewer; in this silent quality (characteristic of great paintings) of blending matter and anti-matter and of putting on the canvas, through the materiality of the paint, a dimension both visible and invisible and that moves standing still, like us before it.
In "Ocidente", the second solo show by Felipe Cohen (b. 1976) at Galeria Millan, the artist from São Paulo explores and interprets the genre of landscape using geometric elements and color, in a series of paintings on wood (the series "Luz Partida"), in objects/showcases such as "Ocaso #3", "Ocidente" and "Lago", and, finally, in an intervention directly on the gallery's floor.
opening : 22 . nov . 2016 - 7 pm - 10 pm
visitation : 23 . nov - 20 . dec . 2016
tue - fri , 10 am - 7 pm ; sat , 11 am - 6 pm
Tunga, one of the most important creators of Brazilian contemporary art, died prematurely last June at the age of 64, leaving ready what would have been his next exhibition. Galeria Millan is taking the artist’s plans forward and on October 15 will launch the show "Pálpebras" at both its premises in Vila Madalena, bringing together a group of never before or rarely seen works in Brazil.
Millan’s original premises will display the "Phanógrafos", works derived from the series "Cooking Crystals" (2010). These rarely exhibited pieces are boxes that act as a recipient or support for assemblages of different objects and materials, such as bottles, wine glasses, amber, stones or scatological items. Things that, as Tunga wrote, have a “talisman quality”, and “change shape like a lantern”.
The gallery's second floor will also contain projections and drawings, aimed at broadening the way his plural and transmutable work is viewed; for example, by revealing the connections between two-dimensional and three-dimensional productions and emphasizing the importance of the line in the artist’s work.
“It will certainly not be just an exhibition of pieces. We are working on the spaces so that the art is shown at its very best. Tunga’s work will be present in the atmosphere and not just physically, in his creations”, explains André Millan, who put on the artist’s first exhibition exactly 30 years ago, in 1986.
The Anexo, the new space inaugurated last year, will house the "Morfológicas" series, organic sculptures that refer to the body; they are sensual, sometimes surreal, often erotic – reminiscent of vulvas, glans, tongues, fingers, mouths and breasts – and have originated from other works (as in the series "From la Voie Humide", in 2014), but have never been exhibited on their own in Brazil, even respecting their somewhat undefined stance between form study (as the title itself suggests) and finished work.
Initially they were merely small, hand-molded shapes in wax, with slightly larger versions (between 30 and 60 cm) emerging over time in bronze or barbotine (a type of liquid ceramic). A large-size version of one these works was originally created for the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC), in Paris. This piece, "A Seus Pés" (At your feet) is seven meters – which is normal in his work – and consists of various parts. The central element is a long, rounded shape, with claws at each end, resembling fingers pointing in different directions. One of them is pregnant, as if propagating the pods that hang from it.
Anexo Millan is pleased to present “Barro”, the new solo show by visual artist Miguel Rio Branco, one of the most prominent contemporary photographers in Brazil, and the only one who's a member of Magnum Photos, the agency founded by Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa in 1947. The show at Anexo Millan, which opens on Saturday, 09/03, from 12 to 4 PM, is comprised of nearly 24 works created by Rio Branco from the late 1970’s to the present. “My new efforts are made from old things”, as the artist says.
The selection features over 100 photographs (singles, diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs) and a video (“Under the stars, the ashes”), which shows the variety of techniques and solutions used by the artist in constructing his works. Miguel Rio Branco’s pieces maximize the potential of the most diverse sorts of visual languages, generally achieving coherence among them. Combining very different images, Miguel suggests narrative rhythms and insinuates volumes in multiple works that point to film cutting and editing. Contrast, light and color saturation blur the lines between the images’ elements, and his compositions often present the viewer with an atmosphere of pleasure and pain, drama and lyricism in very singular and recognizable pieces in the context of Brazilian contemporary art.
Among the new solo show’s highlights are images of the Kayapó people captured in the village of Gorotire in southern Pará throughout the 1980s. Most of these records also feature in the 14-minute short film “Under the stars, the ashes”, which will be screened in full in one of Anexo's rooms. “Barro” also displays images of miners taken when Miguel was in the Serra Pelada, also in Pará; others feature Baroque elements and traditional Portuguese tiles; or animals; and still others depict shockingly devastated scorched earth landscapes. The impressive polyptych “Barro”, as yet unseen in Brazil, and for which the exhibition was named, skillfully combines elements and settings that relate to the photographs scattered around the show. Whoever enters the first room of Anexo Millan, with its 23-foot ceilings, is immediately surprised by the power of this piece and its amazing 18-image ensemble.
Galeria Millan simultaneously opens two new solo shows on March 31, by artists Emmanuel Nassar (Galeria Millan) and Henrique Oliveira (Anexo Millan).
On his new solo show at Galeria Millan, the artist Emmanuel Nassar creates a sort of game in which he mixes works from different phases and media to reinforce some of the questions that have motivated his investigations for decades. Deeply sardonical and averse to his work being classified by criteria such as date, technique or even authorship, this northern Brazilian artist – currently living partly in São Paulo and partly in Belém do Pará – decided to transform the gallery’s largest wall into a framework for a large, rhythmical collage comprising various elements. This is a clear reference to the artist’s work process, which absorbs, recreates and reconstructs items from his day-to-day life using different techniques and styles of composition. Emmanuel Nassar will also present paintings and a sculpture on the first floor of Galeria Millan.
The artist Henrique Oliveira uses the recently opened Anexo Millan to present a pot-pourri of his most recent creations and to show the public the new developments emerging from his studies. Ten years after his first solo exhibition, Henrique still shows great versatility, exploring different techniques and paths while also working on painting, sculpture and installation, with enormous national and international success. However, his more recent works contain subtle but striking changes, resulting in more harmony between the various paths the artist has forged. Rather than belonging to two completely different fields, the two-dimensional and three-dimensional languages are clearly drawing closer to each other and there is more integration between these universes. His more recent paintings, for example, seem to be making overtures to the earth and pink tones that dominate his famous installations, made with the remains of construction hoardings.
ARTUR BARRIO | FELIPE COHEN | HENRIQUE OLIVEIRA
JOSÉ RESENDE | MIGUEL RIO BRANCO | RODRIGO ANDRADE
TATIANA BLASS | THIAGO ROCHA PITTA | TUNGA
From November 12, Galeria Millan presents a new solo show of the artist Paulo Pasta. Entitled: There is an outside inside us and outside us an inside, a verse of Francisco Alvim’s poem. The show marks the opening of the new gallery’s space: Anexo Millan. The exhibition simultaneously occupies both of Millan’s addresses. In the gallery’s traditional space, the abstract paintings will be exhibited, marked by an intense, ambiguous color and refined atmosphere geometric structure, which are responsible for their unquestionable role in Brazilian contemporary painting. But, together with the abstract paintings, you can see one of the landscapes recently produced by the artist, the surroundings of his hometown, Ariranha, are the starting point of the production. In Anexo Millan, situated a few meters away from the gallery, the same friction process will attend the exhibition. Dedicated to the landscapes, the new space will also house an enormous painting made directly on the wall. At the opening, the book Landscape Fable will be released with 28 landscape paintings of the artist. The exhibition runs until the 19th of December.
The solo exhibition by José Resende at Galeria Millan can be understood as a development of the exhibition held at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, between April and June 2015. It would even be fair to say that the exhibition is flows through space and time.
At Millan, the exhibition is also composed of only recent and previously not seen sculptures. But it is a mistake to think of it only as a new stage in José Resende's work - composed of projects and innovative solutions. Because the path tread in the 50 years of the artist's production is of "eternal return"; a reflected, surprising continuum. The humor, tension, opposing directions, the latent movement and its insertion in the public space have always been and are present in his work.
It is undeniable that José Resende's sculptures explore the relationships between the city and the body. Whether by choice of materials — metal plates and pipes, stones, glass, textiles - or through the direct conversation of his work — vertical, horizontal, diagonal and curved — with the surroundings. Guided by a rigorous, flexible thinking and a playful imagination, the artist, through his sculptures, invites the audience into another perspective of the urban landscape, the corporeality and the world’s mobility.
In fact, the idea of the inaccuracy of movement is something that unifies the works of Resende exhibited at Galeria Millan. The sculpture Dobras (2015) is made by interlocking two steel plates: one of which is circular, folded in half, with two slits in "v" and the other which is half-moon shape. The density and strength of the plates inspire permanence; an apparent stability. That soon falls apart when you realize that there is a multiplicity of sculptural possibilities within the same sculpture - just change the fitting of the “v” plate. It is the idea of an open work that lies its movement, its constant tension.
It is also worth mentioning that at the Pinacoteca, Dobras (2015) was displayed as a pair of identical sculptures, whereas at Galeria Millan, the piece has been dismembered and it appears as a set of sculptures in various dimensions.
The never before seen piece Corpo de Prova II (2015) embodies another type of movement. The title already alludes to what is at stake in the sculpture. Are the calculation and the precision of this creation sufficient to control the unpredictability of imagination and of the suggestive character of the flexible form? On one side, two brushed stainless steel pipes measuring 4 meters, on the other, two polished stainless steel tubes at an angle also measuring 4 meters, and both sets are connected by a steel cable. Corpo de Prova II (2015) refers to previous methods — such as the train cars suspended by steel cables and even in some sculptures dating back to the 1970s — but presents new solutions: a pre-established and powerful balance.
In the lobby of the gallery, the never before seen work Upside Down (2015) — consisting of brass tubes connected by steel cables — produces an impact for its monumentality, for its humor and for its challenge to gravity. Even despite the lightness and the aerial quality of the work which, incidentally, seems to create a virtual volume that moves toward the observer's body, Upside Down, measuring 6 meters, has as a challenge the task of standing up. The sculpture also exceeds in scale the environment where it is installed. There is a tension between the work and architecture. The dimensions of the spaces — such as the columns, the thickness of the wall, the passages, the wall coverings, the floor, the ceiling — are seen again.
How do we approach the works of German Lorca, who, at the age of 93 and after 70 years of activity, still amazes us? The exhibition Travessias held at the Galeria Millan, in partnership with FASS, aims to approach this issue and some others. The exhibition presents twenty-seven photographs of the artist, produced from 1948 to 2014, who achieved seven decades of uninterrupted production.
It is known that Lorca is one of the major photographers among the “modern photographers of São Paulo”, all of them members of the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirantes, during the 1940s and the 1950s. The group knew how to suit to its works the vertiginous growth of São Paulo City in those days. The modern city required a new iconography that could represent it. Lorca, through his experimentation and modern instinct, found this new way and transformed the urban landscape into the living character of his images.
But the exhibition Travessias also proves that the language of German Lorca’s photography transcends the so-called modern photography repertoire; there is an evolution. At the very beginning are renowned photographs such as "Malandragem" (1949) and "Troncos cruzados" (1955).
In the 1960s, his photography shows a formal and graphical research. These images arouse some amazement, as, for instance, Folhagens”, the window “Mondrian” and “Andaime”, all of them from the 1960s. Or even “Aeroporto (1961 and 1965) in which the vagueness and some silhouettes seem to be in motion.
In the series of photographs made in New York, during three different travels (1967, 1978 and 1982), the city does not show up in its magnitude; It is a set of close-ups, composing a patchwork of mirrors, shop fronts and frontages.
The time brought to German Lorca’s photography some cleanness, a power of synthesis, as shown in “Circulo quadrado” (2007).
In his most recent series, made in 2014, the main issue is the composition of the image and the search for the essence of the shape, with lights and shadows effects created by the sun at different times of night and day.
The exhibition Travessias presents the work of German Lucas not just as part of the history of Brazilian modern photography, but also as the development of a visual language, coherent and original, which started at the end of the 1940s and reached the 2nd decade of the 21st century.
Galeria Millan is delighted to participate in the Feature sector of Art Basel 2015 with works by the Brazilian artist Artur Barrio.
Artur Barrio's projects engage the viewer as a participant, challenging the sensorial coordinates with which we usually consider the world so as to conjure up other ways of understanding it. Working in media such as performance, installation and video, and using unusual and potentially disturbing materials such as meat, salt, organic waste, Barrio investigates transient and hidden aspects of our reality, often revealing beauty where it is unexpected. His work transgresses the limits to which art is generally subjected and eludes stereotypical classifications. Although Artur Barrio works with a variety of procedures the conceptual core of its trajectory are the Situações (Situations) in which the artist physically manipulates space: modifying it and rendering it both active and vibrant.
According to João Fernandes, director of Museo Reina Sofia, “Barrio...creates situations where he constructs a personal discourse in which he appropriates the real, reconstituting it poetically and politically in the residues of this same real that he evidences and that are often occulted from us by the social domestication of taste and by the social self-legitimation of the artistic object”.
For Basel Galeria Millan will present the photographic documentation of three of these Situations: Navalha Relógio (1970), 6 Movimentos (1974) and Uma observação, 6 aproximações, 1 recuo (1975). Since these projects exist in accordance with their ephemerality, the records are the only way to allow those that did not witness them in the flesh to become acquainted with his projects.
Navalha Relógio (Razor Blade Clock) comprises three photos and two cardboards that document an action that the artist himself describes as: “Work accomplished in July 1970, Rio de Janeiro. A MIRROR WITH A RAZOR BLADE PLACED OVER IT. THE TIME – THE IMAGE. THE RAZOR BLADE”.
The second work, titled 6 movimentos (6 movements) is dated 1974, when the artist was again living in Portugal. The piece comprises 12 photographs of the action of cutting a canvas.
Uma observação, 6 aproximações, 1 recuo (One observation, 6 approximations, 1 retreat), is from 1975. Accomplished when he was living in Paris, the piece has a more poetical tone than the others and has the beach and the sea as setting, elements that are dear and recurring in Barrio’s production.