Rodrigo Matheus


Apr  6 – May  9, 2015


Apr  6, 6 pm–10 pm

Galeria Fortes Vilaça


Press Release

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present Atração [Attraction], the new exhibition by Rodrigo Matheus. The artist presents new sculptures constructed based on associations between household objects and industrial pieces found in various stores in the city of São Paulo. By bringing together materials of a generic nature and uniting them in one body, the works invert the industrial logic of mass production, as well as the primary notions of form and function.

Rodrigo Matheus activates the gallery space in different ways: with works stretching up from the floor, hanging from the ceiling, suspended, or running along the walls – thus conferring an “installational” character to the show. Two examples are the works Abraço [Hug] and Elevação [Elevation], where the leaves and stems of artificial plants are organized along the walls. They deal with the relations between construction and nature, stretching them to the limit by attributing architectural qualities to supposedly organic elements.

Flauta [Flute] reinforces the idea of rhythm that governs the insertion of each piece in the space. It consists of a pile of objects that rises up to the ceiling, including a Saarinen table, a barrel, a circular sheet, a drum cymbal, a trumpet, and other things. Its construction depends on industrial coincidences of sizes, strengths and shapes. In this way, the artist discusses the dystopian character of modern design, today widely copied and sold around the world in stores like Ikea or Tok&Stok. The objects that make up Atração – the work that lends its title to the show – are ropes, bungee cords, anchors and pulleys attached to the ceiling. Weight and tension configure a drawing in space and good-humoredly alter the character of the pieces that compose the arrangement.

With Torre [Tower], the artist creates a sort of monument out of small modules of glass and plastic. In their original function, these structures would play a minor role, making up shelves and racks for displaying products in stores, but in Matheus’s work they are themselves the focus. This evinces the artist’s interest in highlighting elements which in the history of art and design are considered as mere supports. In the inversion of logic present in Matheus’s work, the base itself is the sculpture.

The sculptures featured in Atração reaffirm the artist’s interest in issues such as the nature of representation, design and artificiality. The precise arrangement among the parts that compose each work engender an interplay of unexpected relationships, considering their inherent qualities, the social circuit, and the relations of power present in each component of the show. Through these articulations, Rodrigo Matheus points to the poetic potential of everyday objects which, once freed from their function, reveal new possibilities of meaning and understanding beyond those they were originally conceived for.

Rodrigo Matheus was born in São Paulo in 1974 and currently lives and works in Paris, France. His recent solo shows include: Coqueiro Chorão, Ibid Projects (London, United Kingdom, 2014); Do Rio e para é to Rio and from, Galeria Silvia Cintra + Box 4 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2014); and Colisão de Sonhos Reais em Universos Paralelos, Fundação Manuel António da Mota (Porto, Portugal, 2013). Group shows he has participated in include: Imagine Brazil, Instituto Tomie Ohtake (São Paulo, Brazil, 2015) – a traveling show originally held at Astrup Fearnley Museet (Oslo, Norway, 2013); 3rd Bienal da Bahia, MAM-Bahia (Salvador, Brazil, 2014); Champs Elyseés, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France, 2013); 32nd Panorama da Arte Brasileira, MAM-SP (São Paulo, Brazil, 2011); and The Spiral and the Square, Bonniers Kontshall (Stockholm, Sweden, 2011). His work is present in important collections, such as: Instituto Inhotim (Brumadinho, Brazil); MAM Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); and MAM São Paulo (Brazil).