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Mendes Wood DM Sao Paulo presents group exhibition Futurismo

20 August – 5 November 2022

Richard Kennedy, Dalton Gata, Paolo Salvador, and Manuel Solano all have new pieces on display at FUTURISMO. As the artists investigate and interweave topics like metamorphosis and emergence with memory and identity, the exhibition strikes a balance between several temporalities. The exhibited pieces, which include sculpture, painting, and video, provide a forward motion while acknowledging that speculative initiatives always draw on recycled components of our cultural history, which are then filtered through our individual experiences.

A lovely pink sky at Aqu duermes (2022) illuminates the sleeping person. The feline figure’s reflection of the human’s limb curvature and orientation suggests that the animal is guarding the person. Knowledge is shown as an animal in corporeal form in Paolo Salvador’s artwork. The two friends live in a liminal area below the horizon; the cat represents wisdom that the human figure can use to assist him or her along the route to the horizon.

Large-scale artworks by Dalton Gata depict a pluriverse that might exist on the other side of the barrier. Characters from his personal life and popular culture are depicted in his energetic, lavish paintings, which are also surrounded by lush, natural settings. The viewer is attracted into Gata’s hybrid spaces, which are full of color and richness and where the anthropocene is destabilized.

Manuel Solano is a different artist who investigates the complexities of multiplicity and identity; he looks at the function of memory in subjectivity and collective histories. Their paintings, movies, and collages jokingly piece together an autobiographical portrait. Assembling a picture of the artist now through a study of the past, their approach creates a new archive for their future selves by using references to both personal histories and popular culture.

Richard Kennedy’s new paintings realize their performance and operatic practice through gestural acrylic paint strokes that contain texts from their librettos. They combine western art history, popular culture, and folk traditions. The canvas is then chopped into lengthy lengths and sewn back together, deconstructing the artist’s distinctively vivid palette and rolling textures. By pursuing the folk tradition of weaving while simultaneously presenting a strategy of remixing that makes connections to music history, the piece is effectively destroyed and then rebuilt under new rules. The resulting pieces are reminiscent of abstract afrofuturism; they are vibrant abstract paintings that explore transformation and renewal and are deeply based in African American traditions.

Speculative and transformative works that speak to and react to sentiments of uncertainty and the unknown are presented in FUTURISMO. Through the use of neo-surrealism, magical thinking, and afrofuturism, this presentation explores the hidden influences of environment, culture, and history to create imaginative views of the future.

Mendes Wood DM São Paulo
Rua Barra Funda 216
01152 – 000 São Paulo Brazil
+ 55 11 3081 1735
[email protected]

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