Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present Até o Concreto [To the Concrete], the second solo show by Rodrigo Cass. The artist from the city of São Paulo is presenting, for the first time, new works in video, sculpture and painting that take color and the concept of rupture as central elements, solidifying his personal artistic language.
In the three videos projected on concrete blocks, performative actions of short duration are repeated exhaustively. In Até o Concreto (2016), the artist cuts colored papers by hand in a spiral movement. The plane is transformed into a circle, and the circle into a point, until the color blends with the concrete. The irregularity of the movement and the imperfection of the borders lend physical force to the image of a painting in movement made by the subtraction of color. Espaço Liberto [Freed Space] (2015) presents borders of colored wood that are precariously balanced along the edges of the frame, continuously reconstructed by the artist in infinite combinations. In O Social [The Social], bottles and various sorts of recipients are alternated on the canvas in an automated but highly sexually charged movement.
The new set Superfícies Mínimas [Minimal Surfaces] is composed of paintings made with vividly colored fabrics with interventions in white or gray concrete. These works refer to a constant action of erasure in which the complex geometric compositions appear always full of gaps, flaws and empty zones. These compositions explore the notion of abstrahere (to abstract or isolate a part from a whole). Abstrahere can also refer toincomplete experiences, renunciations or choices.
In the sculptures, the artist combines concrete blocks with objects of his own personal use. In Torso (2016) a leather belt is wrapped around the top of the concrete block in the exact diameter of the artist’s waist. In Ascese [Ascesis] (2016), his shoes are climbing a similar block, in an ambiguous movement. The elation of reaching the top and achieving High Contemplation,* or a profound union with the sacred, is blended with the brusque movement of the shoes sinking into the cement. Americae Praeterita (2016) consists of an open book with prints of Indianscrucified and devoured in anthropophagic rituals, embedded in a block of concrete.
Rodrigo Cass was born in 1983 in São Paulo, where he lives and works. His solo shows have included: Espaço Liberto, Galerie MDM (Paris, 2015); Meyer Riegger Gallery (Karlsruhe, Germany, 2015); Material Manifesto, Galpão Fortes Vilaça (São Paulo, 2014); and Programa de Exposições do Centro Cultural São Paulo (São Paulo, 2013). His participations in group shows have most notably included: 10th Bienal do Mercosul (Porto Alegre, 2015); Imagine Brazil – a traveling show that has been held at Astrup Fearnley Museet (Oslo, 2013), Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (Lyon, 2014), Instituto Tomie Ohtake (São Paulo, 2015), and DHC/ART (Montreal, 2015); and Bolsa Pampulha, Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2011). The artist has furthermore participated in exhibitions and festivals dedicated to video art around the world.
* “Glosas sobre um êxtase de alta contemplação e Glosas da alma que pena por não ver a Deus” em (São João da Cruz. Obras Completas. Org. Frei Patrício Sciadini, O.C.D., Petrópolis: Vozes, 1984, p. 38).