After 15 years without showing in Brazil, one of the greatest Argentine painters, Guillermo Kuitca, has returned to the country for a highly significant stint of exhibitions in 2014. After a group show at Casa Daros, in May, and the retrospective show now running at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, two São Paulo galleries have joined forces to represent the artist in the Brazilian circuit. As a result of this new partnership, Galeria Fortes Vilaça and Mendes Wood DM are pleased to present the two parallel shows, Diarios [Diaries] and Doble Eclipse [Double Eclipse], respectively, each at its own main spaces.
At gallery Mendes Wood DM, the artist is presenting a series of small-scale paintings on wood along with a large canvas. These works reaffirm Kuitca’s pictorial vocabulary, with his penchant for geometric patterns, cartographic references, gloomy landscapes and architectural spaces. The painting that lends its name to the exhibition’s title portrays a scene in which a small sun hovers near the horizon, eclipsed by two celestial bodies. Illuminated by its dim light, an accumulation of beds and chairs – recurring psychoactive elements in the artist’s oeuvre – gain architectural proportions by referring to an urban landscape.
For its part, Galeria Fortes Vilaça presents an installation composed of 18 circular works from the ongoing series Diarios, begun in 1994. Different groups of this body of work have been shown previously – most notably the installation at the 2007 Venice Biennale – but the set presented here features works produced between 2005 and 2012. For each of these works, the artist stretched an unfinished canvas on a tabletop in his studio and kept it there for months while he went about his daily activities. On this canvas, Kuitca scribbled notes, doodled while talking on the phone, painted studies, and made sketches. Intentionality and randomness are blended and absorbed by each of these diaries, in such a way that they expand beyond painting and incorporate drawing, writing and assemblage. They bear witness to the artist’s everyday life and, hung side-by-side, form an artistic narrative of his private world.
Guillermo Kuitca was born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lives and works. One of the most outstanding Latin American painters, his work is the theme of the panoramic show Filosofia para Princesas [Philosophy for Princesses] now running at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo until November 2. His previous solo shows have most notably included Guillermo Kuitca. Everything. Paintings and Works on Paper, 1980–2008, held in 2009 by the Miami Art Museum, which traveled to another three North American institutions in 2010 (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC). The artist has also participated in three editions of the Bienal de São Paulo (1985, 1989 and 1998), represented Argentina at the 2007 Venice Biennale, and participated in the 1992 Kassel Documenta.