Brazilian artist Ana Mazzei presents collection of bronze sculptures and oil paintings at Green Art Gallery
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Brazilian artist Ana Mazzei presents collection of bronze sculptures and oil paintings at Green Art Gallery
Ana Mazzei, Beings: lady horse, 2023-2024. “It happens to me frequently. You disappear? Yes and then come back. Moments of death I call them.”— Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red.



DUBAI.- 'How to Disappear' marks the conclusion of Ana Mazzei's ongoing project “Love Scene Crime Scene,” a three-part exhibition series centered around the fictional disappearance of a ballerina. In this latest installment presented by Green Art Gallery in Dubai, the Brazilian artist deepens the enigma by introducing a collection of bronze sculptures and oil paintings that leave the spectator wanting to play the role of investigator. Her sculptures, featuring half human, half animal creatures placed on raw concrete plinths, take center stage against an entire wall displaying approximately 50 paintings. While it may be tempting to label these creations as evidence, there is nothing evident or obvious about them.

Known for the theatricality of her sculptures, installations, and paintings, Mazzei often brings the force of fiction into her practice. The artist explains that the narrative underpinning her series of exhibitions, including How to Disappear, is a direct reference to the detective stories of Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza and Agatha Christie, as well as contemporary crime series. However, it quickly becomes clear that more than prompting her audience to solve a mystery, Mazzei is asking us to hold on to it.

There are many possible reasons why people, or ballerinas, go missing, whether by a random accident or through an act of violence. But disappearing can also be the result of careful deliberation. Mazzei’s large selection of paintings – near-mystical colorful compositions featuring both geometric and biomorphic forms – is divided into six themes: stage, vases, landscape, cages, beings, and the joker. Together, they form a vocabulary or alphabet of symbols – possibly clues to the larger narratives that have led to the dancer’s disappearance – or a sequence of divination cards put together as an attempt to illustrate how to disappear, if we ever wanted to.

Mazzei’s sculptures always begin with a drawing, and some creatures featured in the exhibition have roots in sketches dating as far back as 2010. Her approach to clay modeling is instinctive; an unsuccessful arm can seamlessly evolve into a wing or a fin. Her otherworldly figures, such as a praying frog, a beaked Pegasus, a horse-protruding hand, an aged Centaur, and a wasp-waisted Icarus, are then cast in bronze and sealed with patina. Standing at the threshold of anthropomorphism – not-quite-human but also not-quite-animal – they appear to gesture towards the impending possibility of full transformation.

Serving as material embodiments of the ballerina’s absence – her personal devotional objects, as referred to by the artist –, the sculptures and paintings featured in How to Disappear examine what it means to vanish or indeed to wish to vanish. By merging her own lyrical voice with that of her fictional character, Ana Mazzei uses artmaking as a way of journeying into somewhere else, as someone else. Rather than revealing a desire to become or remain invisible, her work unveils a yearning to be reborn into something new.

Written by Adriana Francisco

Ana Mazzei

Ana Mazzei (born in 1979, São Paulo, Brazil) completed a BFA in Visual Arts at the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) in 2006 and a MA in Visual Poetics at UNICAMP in 2010.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Sleepwalk, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2021); Drama O'Rama: Other Scenes, Glasgow International, Scotland, UK (2021); Vesuvius, Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo, Brazil (2020); Drama O'Rama, Sesc Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil (2019); Is-Montage!, Carlos/Ishikawa, London, UK (2019); Antechamber, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2018); DRAMAFOBIA, Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo, Brazil (2017); and Ghost Studies, Almine Rech Gallery, New York, NY (2017).

Selected group shows include: 37th Panorama of the Brazilian Art: Under the ashes, embers, São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Brazil (2022); Da Humanidade, Museu Brasileiro de Arte, FAAP. São Paulo, Brazil (2020); Feminists Histories, São Paulo Arts Museum, São Paulo, Brazil (2019); Living Structures. Art as a plural experience, curated by Jesús Fuenmayor, la Bienal de Cuenca, Ecuador (2018); Brazil. Knife in the flesh, a joint performance with Regina Parra, Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy (2018); Hands, Spells and Papers, La Galerie Centre d'Art Contemporain, Noisy-le-Sec, France (2018); 20º Festival de Arte Contemporânea Videobrasil, Sesc Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil (2017); Theatre of the Absurd, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2017); Neither, Mendes Woods Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2017); and 32ª São Paulo’s Internacional Bienal, Incerteza Viva, São Paulo, Brazil (2016).

Her works are in the collection of Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris, France; Glasgow International, Scotland; Museu de Arte Brasileira, FAAP, São Paulo, Brazil; MASP- Museu de Arte São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Nouveau Musée National, Monaco; Sammlung Philara Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany and S.M.A.K, Ghent, Belgium.
She lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.

Green Art Gallery
Ana Mazzei: How to Disappear
27 February – 20 April 2024










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