Exhibition showcases diverse ways in which space can be depicted and explored

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Exhibition showcases diverse ways in which space can be depicted and explored
Gabriel Orozco, Suisai XXXIX a, 2016. Watercolour on gold card. Frame Size: 78.7 x 69.1 x 4.5 cm (30.98 x 27.2 x 1.77 in.) Artwork Size: 52 x 45 cm (20.47 x 17.72 in.)

COMPORTA.- Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) is hosting kurimanzutto (New York and Mexico City) for a collaborative exhibition at Casa da Cultura da Comporta. The meeting of the two galleries’ programs presents a chance to explore works spanning distinct genres, techniques, and geographies within a unified curatorial perspective.

The exhibition unfolds in two acts. The first act opened on July 8 and proposes the natural world as that which is external to us. The selection of works showcase diverse ways in which space can be depicted and explored, encompassing intricate investigations on architecture and landscapes. Through varied applications of forms and materials, the sculptures, photographs, and paintings in act one collapse the delineation between organic and constructed space.

Plants teeter between the abstract and the figural in the work of Gabriel Orozco (Mexico, 1962). In his Suisai series (2016), daubs of pale green, mauve, and ochre ink gather in mimetic forms of nature. Within the pools of ink are a familiar lexicon of geometric circles enhanced by the schematic arrangement found in Dé Fruit (2017). Orozco’s work reveals cyclic actions that unfold in nature as they mediate between the geometric and the organic, stillness and movement.

In Luiz Zerbini’s (Brazil, 1959) large-scale painting Musa Miraculosa (2023), layers of intricate patterns form complex prints of foliage that are half-dissolved in abstract structures with meticulously detailed textures. Stark contrasts between the vibrant colors in the natural motifs portray a synthetic edge in his Metamorfose (2017) series. The artist fossilizes the ephemeral with the juxtaposition of rainbow gradients, pressed leaves, and stems. A similar dimension springs from the fossil-like materiality of Anderson Borba’s (Brazil, 1972) work. In Mata-Leão (Rear-Naked Choke) (2022), Borba sculpts wood and then burns, paints, presses, and manipulates materials such as paper and varnish into the composition.

Mauro Restiffe (Brazil, 1970) and Marina Rheingantz (Brazil, 1983) depict seascapes stripped of monumentality and imbued with atmospheric radiance. The analog grain in Restiffe’s 2020 (2020) situates an embracing couple in the foreground in a dreamlike, half-remembered scene. Likewise, the imagined landscape of Rhein-gantz’s Silver Lake (2023) creates a vaporous ambiance filled with thick layers of paint, whose forms may oscillate between rocks and smudged paint depending on the viewer’s perspective: a procedure translated into the rhythmic, curt marks of thread in her tapestry Balsa 1 (2017).

Vegetation becomes airborne in the artificial plants that emerge from the suspended straw pot of Haegue Yang’s (South Korea, 1971) The Intermediate - Antenna Basket on Rings (2017). The television antenna protruding amongst the plants presents a duality between the natural and the technological, the folk and the modern. Yet, the straw vase in the shape of elephant ears recalls the craftsmanship from the woven rattan Leonor Antunes (Portugal, 1972) encountered in Franca Helg’s family home in Galliate Lombardo, Varese, Italy, and then reimagined in the hanging Franca #2 (2018).

Antunes maps architectural details, while Wilfredo Prieto (Cuba, 1978) maps images and Abraham Cruzvillegas (Mexico City, 1968) maps psychogeographic landscapes. In Prieto’s Fake News series (2021) he interpreted the photographs from the national and international press through abstract applications of acrylic on canvas. In Otras rutas 13 (Other routes 13, 2023), Cruzvillegas engages his entire body as he uses a mop to paint lines that map pathways within a space we can only imagine. From the emptiness of the exposed canvases, the construction of space also forms in the work of the self- taught painter and writer Álvaro Lapa (Portugal, 1939–2006). The implication of space evokes a discarded note or a valley and the references to or inclusion of written words suggest ever-changing narrative paths.

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