Nara Roesler opens new location in New York's Chelsea neighborhood

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Nara Roesler opens new location in New York's Chelsea neighborhood
Antonio Dias. The Illustration of Art/ Art & Society/ Model, 1975 (detail). Photo © Everton Ballardin.

NEW YORK, NY.- Nara Roesler is presenting Cross-cuts, an exhibition curated by Luis Pérez-Oramas unfolding in five different installations to inaugurate the gallery’s new location in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, on view from January 12 through February 13, 2021. The show was envisioned as a means to focus on the richness and variety of the Roesler portfolio by highlighting nine significant artists: Antonio Dias, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Berna Reale, Cristina Canale, Karin Lambrecht, Maria Klabin, Milton Machado, Artur Lescher, and Tomie Ohtake.

'Cross-cuts proposes chapters focusing on a specific body of work by an individual artist or a conversation between two or three artists. We believe in an open-minded observation of art capable of discovering, through meaningful juxtapositions, in a comparative and analogical way, new meanings that could amplify their aesthetic and political resonance,' states Luis Pérez-Oramas, Senior Curatorial Director.

Each of the exhibition’s installations address outstanding issues that concern contemporary art in both Brazil and the United States.

Chapter 1
Antonio Dias
January 12–16

Antonio Dias is among the most celebrated and relevant Brazilian artists of the 20th century. A paramount figure whose career embraced, with distinguished singularity, the entire repertoire of late modern art— from film to installations, from pop to conceptual art and post-formalist painting. Between 1971 and 1978 Dias notably produced one of his landmark series of works, known as The Illustration of Art.

Taking as a point of departure the fact that Art is a system (a linguistic-semantic system, but also a system of circulation and exchange) Dias conceived the emblematic shape of a rectangle with a missing angle as a leitmotiv for this series. This shape, which he revisited ceaselessly until the end of his career, could exist as a flag, as a painting, as an inscription on the ground, as a drawing, etc. It intends to convey the idea that art is a field, a conceptual field, whose status is never fully accomplished, always short of completeness, time and again fragmented, imminent.

chapter 2
Berna Reale and Paul Ramirez Jonas
January 19–23

The second iteration of Cross-Cuts presents a two-person exhibition juxtaposing works by contemporary artists, Paul Ramirez Jonas and Berna Reale, who coincide in their shared interest for the notion of public space: its practice, its image, its politics, its aesthetics. Both artists have addressed this subject through performance and participative works where the public is invited to take part. The parallel established between the two different bodies of work, Palomo by Berna Reale, and the series Ventriloquists by Paul Ramirez Jonas, embraces the diverse perspectives that surround the common concept of the monument. In this installation of Cross-Cuts, the two most common forms of sculptural monumentality in the Western world are therefore twisted with acerbic wit through ironic and sarcastic criticism.

Chapter 3
Cristina Canale, Karin Lambrecht and Maria Klabin
January 26–30

Cristina Canale, Karin Lambrecht and Maria Klabin have accomplished outstanding careers as painters in Brazil, a country known for the historical significance of its women artists, from the founders of modern Brazilian painting, Tarsila do Amaral and Anita Malfatti, to some of the most acclaimed late-modernist artists in the world such as Lygia Clark, Mira Schendel, Amelia Toledo and Lygia Pape.

Canale, Lambrecht, and Klabin are entirely committed to the medium of painting, also addressing in their works the various artistic extensions that can be drawn from the painterly function, from the amplitude of scales and the use of mixed media, to the installative dimension of their practice. This presentation showcases one common thread among the three painters, laying in the notion of painting as a field in which the motif, amplified to the scale of the canvas, occupies the totality of the work.

Chapter 4
Artur Lescher and Milton Machado
February 2–6

Brazilian modern and contemporary sculpture is one of the richest and more complex ones in the Western Hemisphere. Three-dimensional objects as well as an extensive practice of ‘ready-made’ and ‘found objects’—have informed it to the extent of new categories and concepts: ‘Parangolés’, ‘Bichos’, ‘Nuclei’, ‘Penetrables’, etc.

Milton Machado and Artur Lescher have both addressed sculpture and drawing within the context of landscape and architecture in the post-industrial context.

With an acute sense of irony, Machado has ceaselessly pushed structural functionality to most radical, poetic, and absurd situations. Stack, an impressive sculpture made of steel drawers stacked one on top of the other has become a 'paradigmatic totem of his work' in the words of critic Paulo Venancio Filho.

Chapter 5
Tomie Ohtake
February 9–13

Tomie Ohtake was 101 years old when she produced the purest, most pristine and essential version of her sculptural work, shown here for the first time in North America. An unavoidable figure in Brazilian late-modern art, Ohtake achieved, at the blossoming of her last age, an ultimate threedimensional calligraphy in space with her late sculptures: floating, joyful lines featuring their playful doodles in the exhibition space.

The fluidity of color fields and lines are leitmotifs of her work as well as essential elements of her late production, both painterly and sculptural, as shown here. Lines that surge from the density of absolute color, dancing and shaping wavy visual fields were ultimately materialized by Ohtake in her last body of work, as free sculptural lines in space: a poetic, lasting message written in the air.

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