Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present a solo show by Brazilian artist Barrão. Six sculptures that lend continuity to his artistic research, some of which are larger-scale pieces, are being shown for the first time, on the gallery’s first floor.
Barrão’s artistic practice begins with extensive searches throughout the city, selecting and purchasing objects, which are then carefully organized in his studio by color, utility, size, or type, and little by little each sculpture is organized like a jigsaw puzzle into which each of these characteristics precisely fits into one another.
His sculptures are an “assemblage” of ceramic and porcelain pieces intentionally broken and reorganized in a nonhierarchical way that is at first sight apparently random. Functional objects such as teacups and vases are fused with others of a decorative nature and kitsch aspect, such as birds and dogs. Upon being broken and regrouped, the objects lose their functionality and decorative nature, allowing for new interpretations that begin at the familiar – since we recognize the objects used – and head off toward a fantastic world created from the surprising combinations of the pieces, always charged with irony and humor.
While some of his artworks are born from the accumulation of similar objects such as mug bottoms, others take the opposite path, joining dissimilar pieces such as elephants, jars, parrots and so forth. In the sculpture Casulo Uau [Wow Cocoon], for example, the artist joins mug bottoms into an irregular shaped tower rising nearly two meters high. In another artwork, a wall sculpture, Barrão joins an elephant and different birds with jars and pots. Through careful observation, one perceives that what at first seems like disorder is actually a precise balance of form.
Barrão was born in 1959 in Rio de Janeiro, where he works. He had an important solo show this year at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA, and another one in 2010 at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Portugal. Group exhibitions he participated at include the Panorama de Arte Brasileira, 2007 at MAM, São Paulo, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, and others. At the beginning of his career he participated in the celebrated exhibition Como vai você geração 80? at Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, which introduced an entire generation of new Brazilian artists, such as Luiz Zerbini, Adriana Varejão, Beatriz Milhazes and Ernesto Neto.