We are pleased to present métrica mínima, Jac Leirner’s exhibition at Galpão Fortes Vilaça. The São Paulo-born artist exhibits new works, created with Sudoku games she solved and collected over several months. All works were developed from her decision to give form to abstract processes such as logic, reasoning and, above all, the lapse of time.
In the métrica mínima series – exhibited for the first time during this year’s Sharjah Biennial –, Leirner uses recurrent strategies of her artistic practice, such as accumulating, reorganizing and switching between high and low culture. Mathematical reasoning inherent to the game is translated into the work through the artist’s formal rigor: Leirner presents the game on linen canvases of different formats, which are generally long and horizontal. Similar to rulers, the works reveal the artist’s interest in measuring time – or, more specifically, the time dedicated to solving the games. Small variations on the height of the canvases follow the format of the Sudoku games and also establish a situation of rhythm for the works.
The other works included in the exhibition reflect the artist’s efforts to use up all the formal possibilities of the new material, which include edges, remains and prints resulting from the Sudoku practice. In Números [Numbers], for instance, Leirner creates monotypes with carbon paper, transferring the solution of the games to other surfaces. Unlike the pieces placed on linen, in this case, the digits run free from the square frames and randomly spread out on the paper, generating concentration areas.
In yet another development, the artist creates collages with colorful newspaper strips from the comics section. The process stems from the act of cutting out the Sudoku game, which brings forth abstract forms and word games in line with traditional visual poetry. This is the case of Ilustração para um poema [Illustration for a poem], marked by rectangular cuts, as well as of Free Style and its irregular cuts. Nível Fácil [Easy Level], Nível Médio [Medium Level] and Nível Difícil [Hard Level] follow the same constructive logic and summarize the difficulty of the games by means of formal solutions.
Each gesture of the main action of completing and cutting out the Sudoku game gains a touch of meditation, as if fast and semi-unconscious everyday action were to deserve special attention or maximum concentration. Acts conducted at the studio become clear in the completed works: getting things wrong or right, writing or scribbling, cutting out and reorganizing define the works just as much as the material with which they are made.
Jac Leirner was born in 1961 in São Paulo, where she lives and works. Her most recent individual exhibitions include: Funciones de una variable, Museo Tamayo (Mexico City, 2014); Pesos y Medidas, CAAM (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 2014), Hardware Seda – Hardware Silk, Yale School of Art (New Haven, USA, 2012); Jac Leirner, Estação Pinacoteca (São Paulo, 2011). Her extensive curriculum of exhibitions further includes participations in the following: Sharjah Biennial (2015), Istanbul Biennial (2011), Venice Biennial (1997 and 1990), Documenta in Kassel (1992), São Paulo Biennial (1989 and 1983). Leirner’s works are part of several leading collections worldwide, including: Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), Guggenheim (New York), MOCA (Los Angeles), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, USA) and MAM (São Paulo), among others.