Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present Lugar nenhum [Nowhere] a new solo show by Rio de Janeiro artist Barrão. The five sculptures and the series of watercolors featured in the show reveal a new line of research in the artist’s practice, where the volumes are less chaotic, more synthetic and geometricized, insofar as figurativism appears in a more subtle way.
Barrão’s sculptural production is dedicated to the creation of assemblages with ceramic pieces. His method begins with the accumulation and ordering of various decorative and utilitarian objects, which are carefully sectioned by the artist. They are then glued together with epoxy resin in compositions that often touch on kitsch or surrealism.
In Fogueira Geo, multiple drinking mugs are glued together to form 10 columns arranged on the floor like sticks in preparation for a campfire. The fire that could emanate from them is none other than the set of different stories of each mug, which are printed with commemorative, promotional or festive motifs. At the same time, the association between these columns and the organic linearity of sticks and branches – as in Tora (50 anos / Festa Alemã) as well as other works in the show – reveals the artist’s concern for the geometricization of the form to be as mimetic as the objects that inspired it.
The works Morretão de 15, Morretão de 12 and Vara Pau, also made up of columns, are structured on the basis of cylindrical bathroom sink stands. This peculiar material allows the artist to work on a different scale from his usual one – here the works take on a more monumental aspect – at the same time that their smooth surface calls attention to the composition’s pictorial quality, varying between pastel tones. For their part, the watercolors that complete the exhibition present the same chromatic logic and resort to glazings to convey the overlaying of volumes practiced in the sculpture.
Barrão’s choice to create with ready-made objects, generally associated with everyday life and household culture, allows his work to be read as a collage with fragments of small memories. At the same time, it is curious to note how the artist’s intervention on these objects modifies their natures – mugs that can no longer contain beverages, or bathroom sink bases bereft of their sinks. Emptied of their function, but charged with stories of everyday life, Barrão’s works are like totems of commonplace things which, for pointing nowhere, also point everywhere.
Barrão was born in 1959 in Rio de Janeiro where he lives and works. His solo shows have most probably included Mashups, at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA (2012); and Natureza Morta, at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal (2010). The artist has also participated in group shows including the Panorama de Arte Brasileira in 2007 and in exhibitions at MAC, São Paulo; Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro; and Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; as well as the anthological show Como Vai Você, Geração 80? at Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro (1984). In parallel with his solo work, since 1995 Barrão has also been part of the artist collective Chelpa Ferro, with Luiz Zerbini and Sérgio Mekler.