Janaina Tschäpe


May 15 – Jun 16, 2012


May 15, 7 pm–9 pm

Galpão Fortes Vilaça

We are pleased to present at Galpão Fortes Vilaça the exhibition Flatland, with new works by Janaina Tschäpe. The German/Brazilian artist, who resides in New York, is showing a painting on a monumental scale especially created for the space, along with a series of paintings on paper. The show’s title refers to the homonymous novel by English writer Edwin Abbot (1838-1926).

Flatland is also the title of the nine-meter-long canvas/wall painting that the artist is presenting at the exhibition. Tschäpe introduces new geometries in this predominantly blue canvas, conceived as a dialogue between the repetitions and irregularity of shapes – a sort of discussion between squares and triangles – struggling against the paint runs, while at the same time using the line of the paint run as the next square and color field. Always opposing randomness with premeditation, the artist produces an abstract meditation on the relations between nature and mathematics, composing a nostalgic horizon.

“Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows – only hard with luminous edges – and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas, a few years ago, I should have said ‘my universe’: but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things.” [Excerpt from Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin Abbot]

In the series of paintings on paper, Janaina uses a more vibrant and varied color palette to paint the same geometric shapes present in the large canvas, but here they appear in isolation. In the interplay of contrast between color and shape, in the encounter between the shapes, we can observe the subtlety of her poetics. Shapes become creatures that inhabit a fantastic universe. Like tiny cells that contain all the potential of life, these paintings operate metonymically for the comprehension of the world the artist wishes to achieve.

Janaina Tschäpe was born in Munich, Germany, in 1973. Her solo shows have most notably included Chimera, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and Moon Blossom, at Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan, both in 2008. She has participated in group exhibitions at important venues that include the Triennial of the International Center of Photography, New York; MAC USP, São Paulo; MAM, Rio de Janeiro; LiShui Museum of Photography, China; New Museum, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; and others. Her work figures in important collections such as those of Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporânea, Minas Gerais, Brazil; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophia, Madrid, Spain.