One of the few artists dedicated to sculpture to emerge from the Geração 80 [80s Generation], which was mainly focused on painting, Angelo Venosa – originally from São Paulo but now a resident of Rio de Janeiro – is bringing to the city of his birth the exhibition Penumbra. Curated by art historian and curator Vanda Klabin, the show at Galeria Nara Roesler derives from another one with the same name held last year in Vila Velha (state of Espírito Santo).
The show at the São Paulo gallery features eight sculptures. Of these, six were shown at the museum in Espírito Santo, while the other two, even though produced in 2017, are being shown here for the first time. “Uneasy and questioning, his works problematize the spectator’s vision, and stem from the fluid world of handicraft and digital technology, which are part of the artist’s working logic and enlarge the field of his poetics,” the curator points out.
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The show features works produced in materials such as bronze, wood, fabric and fiberglass that explore full and empty areas, creating shapes that acquire unexpected plasticity. The sculptures combine with the shadows they cast to produce an enigmatic body, and together they construct a particular dreamlike atmosphere. “The real inclusion of the shadow opens a possible space, articulates our perception, our modes of seeing, and this simultaneity of events that segments a new territory seems to undermine the truth of the eye and allow for a great variety of accesses to a codified reality,” the curator states.
According to Klabin, moreover, the new series of artworks by Angelo Venosa gives rise to many disconcerting questions. “The agencing of other materials to construct a new body of work will guide the creation of a group of artworks wrapped in incidences of light, developed within an inner turbulence, where the forms oscillate and take up their positions, thus multiplying the planes, creating a spatial ambiguity.”
Angelo Venosa (b. 1954, São Paulo, Brazil; lives and works in Rio de Janeiro) is one of the few artists of the so-called Geração 80 to have focused his work on sculpture, rather than the painting that was then prevalent. From the 1990s onward he began to use materials such as marble, wax, lead and animal teeth, producing works that allude to anatomical structures, such as vertebras and bones. More recently, the artist began to use 3-D printing and computer-assisted drawing to create structures and exoskeletons made of plywood and metal that resemble coral. Exhibitions in which he has participated include the 19th Bienal de São Paulo (1987), the 45th La Biennale di Venezia (1993) and the 5th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2005). A large retrospective in commemoration of the 30 years of his career was held at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) in 2012, traveling to the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo in 2013, as well as to the Palácio das Artes, Belo Horizonte, and the Museu de Arte Moderna Aloisio Magalhães (MAMAM), Recife, in 2014. He currently has public sculptures installed at various places in Brazil, such as the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (Gardens), the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (Ibirapuera Park), Pinacoteca de São Paulo (Luz Garden) and Copacabana/Leme Beach, Rio de Janeiro.Photo © Erika Mayumi. Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler