Simon Evans™

Failing At Living Alone

Jun  8 – Jul 17, 2010

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present British artist Simon Evans's first solo show in Brazil. The exhibition features fifteen works on paper. His oeuvre is characterized by the obsessive gesture of overlaying small fragments of text, words, colors and cut-out images.

Evans works with lists, classifications, organizational charts, and fictitious taxonomies in a ceaseless exercise of mapping the psyche as well as everyday feelings or even limit-situations. In order to deal with the range of human complexity, the artist overlays humor, cynicism, frankness and pain in a strategy which in his view approximates a psychoanalytic process.

Among the works that involve classifications, Daddy Issues presents dozens of male heads cut out from books and magazines, arranged side-by-side like a large informative diagram. Each figure is associated with a phrase consisting of a pithy saying, a sarcastic adjective, or an apparently senseless expression, all of which seem to bear personal references. This investigation of more-or-less known types winds up creating a series of new archetypes that aspire toward universality. In People I Know and Life Garage Sale, people and objects are categorized within this same logic.

Survival is a mapping, in the form of an organizational chart, of the dilemmas that everyone faces to survive. Categories such as shelter, money, "hunger for transcendence" and "navigate existing systems" appear bounded by fields of different colors and connected by lines, in a hierarchy created by the artist himself. All of the categories lead to the central field of the drawing that contains the word "survival." For its part, Relationship Picture involves different aspects of a relationship organized in a multicolored pie chart.

In an ironic gesture of inversion, the artist refers to the recent episode of rescuing citizens after the big earthquake in Haiti. In the artwork USS Comfort, named after the rescue ship that traveled to the island, Evans presents a schematic drawing of the cruise ship Queen Mary 2, identifying the ship's various entertainment and service areas, freely associating them to aspects of contemporary society. In this way, the artist mixes the public with the private, the personal with the universal, in a continuous striving to establish order in chaos.

The artist's work has been featured in two group shows in Brazil: the 27th Bienal de São Paulo in 2007, curated by Lisette Lagnado and the 31st Panorama de Arte Brasileira in 2009, curated by Adriano Pedrosa. Venues that have recently shown his works include the Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom; MoMA, San Francisco, USA; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Pasadena Museum of California Art, USA; and Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany.