Iran do Espírito Santo

En Passant

Feb 26 – Mar 20, 2008

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present En Passant [In Passing] by Iran do Espírito Santo. In this exhibition, the São Paulo artist transforms the entire space of the gallery into a single work of art, a wall painting composed exclusively of shades of gray.

On the ground floor, 53 shades of gray – the differences among them being only barely perceptible – form lines that stretch vertically from floor to ceiling to compose a very subtle design. On the second floor, the gray bands extend horizontally, in gradations that culminate in white near the floor. The choice of the color gray springs from the artist’s interest in black-and-white photography and his constant aim to produce art that encourages a reflexive experience, rather than purely visual stimulation.

In this regard, the show’s title has a critical sense: En Passant refers to the velocity imposed by a circuit of galleries, art fairs and biennials in which artworks are produced, seen, commented on and consumed very quickly, and often superficially. The title is directly related to the colloquial use of the expression en passant, which refers to something being seen without much attention or in-depth consideration, as well as to the fleeting nature of this artwork – which will be erased at the end of the exhibition, when the gallery walls are repainted white.

Iran do Espírito Santo is a well-known artist both in Brazil and internationally. He has participated in many prestigious exhibitions, including the 48th and 52nd Venice Biennales, the 19th Bienal de São Paulo, the 6th Istanbul Biennial and the 5th Bienal do Mercosul. A retrospective of his work was held in 2006/2007 at MAXXI, Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and at the Estação Pinacoteca in São Paulo. His artworks are featured in various outstanding collections, including at MoMA, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, MAXXI, Rome, and other important institutions.