The new exhibition by Leda Catunda at Galpão Fortes Vilaça features paintings, prints, watercolors, collages and sculptures, along with a printed wallpaper developed especially for the show. With the title Leda Catunda e o gosto dos outros [Leda Catunda and the Taste of Others], the show involves pop references with the aim of questioning concepts of beauty and exoticism as well as good and bad taste.
Catunda frequently analyzes the power of pop culture to convert images and objects into signs of social status and belonging. She therefore investigates the taste of people and their relations with comfort, identification and consumption. She appropriates everyday objects (in general towels, blankets and clothes), separates them by themes or similarities, and then interferes on them, lending them new colors, volumes and textures. She takes notice of the morbidity of rock music T-shirts (present in the painting Botão I [Button I]), the objectification of the woman in advertising (in MG – Mulheres Gostosas [HW – Hot Women], and the profusion of vacation selfies (in Indonésia [Indonesia]).
The concepts of beauty and good taste, which in past times were very rigid, are taken by the artist as dynamic parameters in contemporary society, dissolved in values that eventually include the kitsch and the tacky. Aware of these mutations, Leda Catunda seeks to recognize this new beauty present in the taste of others, and thus identify the individual’s unbridled desire to see him or herself represented in an image.
All of the works in the exhibition were made on the basis of the structure of the drawings on the wallpaper. They are patterns which, in the artist’s practice, generally arise in watercolors to then be multiplied in prints and given body in paintings and sculptures. The wallpaper, for its part, acts as a synthesis of the artist’s unique vocabulary, marked by rounded and soft outlines. The exhibition considers all of these supports. The viewer can observe, for example, the print Drops transfigured in the paintings of the Borboleta [Butterfly] series. With this dialogue, Catunda explains the sense of unity among the various languages developed throughout her career.
Leda Catunda was born in 1961 in São Paulo, where she lives and works. Her solo shows have most notably included Pinturas Recentes, at Museu Oscar Niemeyer (Curitiba, 2013), which traveled to MAM Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013); as well as Leda Catunda: 1983–2008, a retrospective held at the Estação Pinacoteca (São Paulo, Brazil, 2009). One of the leading figures of the so-called Geração 80, the artist participated in key exhibitions such as Como Vai Você, Geração 80?, Parque Lage (Rio de Janeiro, 1984); and Pintura como Meio, MAC-USP (São Paulo, 1983). Her career has also included participations in three editions of the Bienal de São Paulo (Brazil; 1994, 1985 and 1983), as well as the Bienal do Mercosul (Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2001) and the Bienal de Havana (Cuba, 1984). Her work figures in various public collections, such as those of Instituto Inhotim (Brumadinho, Brazil); MAM Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Fundação ARCO (Madrid, Spain); and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Holland); as well as the Pinacoteca do Estado, MAC-USP, MASP, and MAM (all in São Paulo, Brazil).