The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 22, 2019

Almine Rech Gallery opens exhibition of new paintings on linen and sculptures by Ana Mazzei
Estudos para Fantasmas / Marciano, 2017. Tempera, dry pigment, pencil and vinyl on linen, 134 x 145 cm 52 3/4 x 57 1/8 inches.

by Dorothée Dupuis

NEW YORK, NY.- Almine Rech Gallery New York announces Ghost Studies, an exhibition of new paintings on linen and sculptures by Brazilian artist Ana Mazzei.

Mazzei's paintings are in the same spirit as the radical and harmonious sculptures she is known for that are presented alone or in groups with a quiet, slightly anthropomorphic presence. Sometimes painted or varnished, and made primarily out of wood – a flexible and generic material that appeals to an artist who likes to “make” things by herself in the studio – Mazzei’s standing arrangements of angles, curves and straight lines quote the vocabulary of the avant-garde with a distinctive twist.

In Mazzei's practice, the viewer is never incidental, on the contrary, they are taken into account from the beginning, like a friendly ghost that is always present with the artist while she conceives her work. This spectator is used by Mazzei as a way to materialize her thoughts about space and its relationship to the artwork, “Whenever I start a new project I find myself involved with a repetitive thought that has something to do with my surroundings; I mean the space around me, or around someone else (the spectator)1”.

Of course, this viewer-centric way of thinking is also reminiscent of minimalist processes; Donald Judd described the austere characteristics of the minimal work as a way to materialize the external world, or, that what is “not” the work. In Mazzei's case, however, one might do better to look to the Brazilian vanguard and its empathy towards the object, a craving for a direct feeling. “I remember as a child going to a São Paulo biennial and touching an object from Lygia Clark. So to me, these processes are part of us, of Brazilian art history! I like to touch things” said the artist recently in an interview2.

In both cases, it is the artwork that suddenly creates a consciousness of the context, and therefore the body, in a vital back and forth for the viewer. In Mazzei's work, specific attention is paid to the dimensions of the sculpture, whether through the works' similarity to the scale of the body or playing on perceptions of the minuscule or the gigantic. Speaking on her work Nova Knossos (2013), the artist says, “I was looking to create a relationship where the spectator felt very big, as if she were growing like a giant, and could see cities as small objects3”.

Similar dynamics are at play within Mazzei's most recent body of work, which is surprisingly close to resembling traditional painting. Discussing this stylistic shift with the artist, I argued that the trend to call anything that is presented flat on a wall a ‘painting’ is pretty recent. In the 1970s, her graphic marks on fine linen, simply hung on a wooden bar or frame and left to their own atmospheric movement, would probably have been labeled as something else. We agree on the fact that above all, painting alludes to a representative space, whether in an attempt to mimic reality or build an imaginary fiction. Thus, for Mazzei, starting to make these two-dimensional works was instinctive, a simple extension of what she has been doing in her sculptures and preparatory drawings.

Mazzei has created plans for a number of works that have never been produced - for the most part ambitious public sculptures - that simply locate herself and the viewer, in the world, the architecture, and the spaces around us. Here, thin lines demarcate what seem to be floor plans or flattened buildings, while dark, violently applied surfaces of color, that almost seem to mistreat the delicate fabric they are applied to, flash more concrete objects and forms, their sensuality both appealing and crude, almost vulgar, at the same time. There is an immediacy to these works that is striking and uncompromising, and also political. As I was asking her about the need, or possibility, for art to be political within the framework of the extreme current political situation in her country, she elegantly replied, “I am thinking of art as a space of experience, not as a way to use political terms as a trampoline4”. Reflecting on recent debates in New York City about what painting can and can't do, what it should and shouldn't represent, and who can or can't paint and for whom: there is food for thought from the South, with love.

1. Extract from a note of intention of the artist about the show sent the the author 2. “An act of construction”, interview between myself and the artist, in Terremoto Magazine, Issue 8, February 2017 3. Ibid.
4. “An act of construction”, interview between myself and the artist, in Terremoto Magazine, Issue 8, February 2017

Today's News

June 28, 2017

Max Beckmann's 'Birds' Hell' leads Christie's £149.5 million London sale

Dali's 'daughter' says she wants her identity

Sotheby's confirms its strong position in the market for Swiss art

Two-part exhibition at the Getty Center features rarely seen works by David Hockney

US Supreme Court to decide on Iran artifact case

Exhibition at Pinakothek der Moderne presents more than 80 of Lucas van Leyden's prints

Nationalmuseum Sweden acquires three works by German-Danish artist Louis Gurlitt

Philadelphia Museum of Art announces recent acquisitions

Almine Rech Gallery opens exhibition of new paintings on linen and sculptures by Ana Mazzei

Summer group exhibition featuring sculptural works opens at Petzel Gallery

High Line Art presents a large-scale, vibrant fiber installation spanning over 300 meters

Exhibition of works by Alberto Biasi opens at Tornabuoni Art London

Exhibition at Pallant House Gallery brings together representations of women created by women artists

Victorian women's library re-imagined for today at Compton Verney

Four new curators appointed at the Art Gallery of Ontario

i8 Gallery opens exhibition of works by Alicja Kwade

Marc Chagall's Circus portfolio tops Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale

Thousands in Cuzco celebrate Incan festival of the sun

Exhibition of works by painter Nathalie Du Pasquier opens at Pace London

Exhibition explores silver as an artistic medium through the centuries

Rogue city trader Nick Leeson's signature on replica trading jacket for sale with John Pye Auctions

Exhibition presents rehearsals from the Korean Avant-Garde Performance Archive

Exhibition examines spectacle and transcendence in contemporary art by women

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful