For his first solo show at the Galpão Fortes Vilaça, Rodrigo Matheus chose to deconstruct the exhibition space and to make use of the materials and language involved in the storage and transport of art objects as a subject for his sculptures and installations.
Upon entering the gallery, the public comes across a labyrinth of boxes where the Galpão’s exhibition space would normally be. Moving along this path, the visitor finds the artworks “camouflaged” as boxes, push carts and similar materials. This path also leads the viewer to “touristic” places, another subject that pervades the artworks.
Matheus has made use of the representation of the landscape and its unfoldings in the universes of technology, kitsch and decoration in previous works. In Handle with Care, these themes are enlarged and blended with commentaries on the circulation of art objects and their life in the backstage of the art circuit.
In Paternon [Paternon], the artist has created a niche of boxes to project a video of the Greek ruin. Captured on Google Earth, the images show a scene shot from a fixed camera that compresses the 24 hours of the day into just 30 seconds – like a postcard in movement. In Truque de Espelhos [Mirror Trick], the landscape of a paradisiacal beach appears reflected infinitely in two mirrors strategically positioned among the boxes. In the sculpture Carrinho [Push Cart], a seascape appears painted over neoclassical-inspired structures commonly used in the interior design of upper-middle-class homes in São Paulo. These structures are positioned on a push cart for moving paintings.
In Caixa Pirâmide [Pyramid Box] wooden pyramidal boxes have become the sculpture itself. The boxes should never be wrapped when sent, and the idea is for them to acquire new marks (customs seals and stamps) on every trip they take from now on. In Caixa Cega [Blind Box], the artist took a box already existing in the Galpão, covered it completely with mirrors, and then repainted the existing seals and labels on the mirrors, creating a sculpture with the idea of a negative space of an empty box that fills its surroundings. The path ends at the Caixa Alçapão Montagem [Hatch Box Setup], a closed environment created inside a box suspended by scaffolding, complete with a ladder that invites the viewer to enter it.
This year Rodrigo Matheus is participating in the exhibition Paralela. Previously, he held the institutional shows Sinais de Fumaça, at the Centro Cultural São Paulo, Brazil, in 2009; Centurium at the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 2006; and A Volta da Arquitetura, at the Centro Universitário Maria Antônia, São Paulo, in 2005. He has also shown his work regularly at galleries outside Brazil and has participated in important group shows at museums such as the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM) and the Museu da Imagem e do Som (MIS), also in São Paulo. He participated in the show Constructing Views: Experimental Film and Video from Brazil at the New Museum, New York, USA, and in the artist’s residency program “Residency and New Commissioned Work for the Lobby” of the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU).