A Carne do Mar [The Flesh of the Ocean], a solo show by Brígida Baltar opens the 2018 calendar at Galeria Nara Roesler in São Paulo, simultaneously with Morro Mundo by Laura Vinci.
According to the Rio de Janeiro artist, the seed for this new series to be shown at the gallery’s São Paulo headquarters came from a childhood memory, when, searching for perfect seashells on the sands of Copacabana, she found nothing but fragments. “It was in the fragments – shards of disappointment – that I discovered the organic shapes and learned of the power of incompleteness.” Baltar adds that by developing these works she was thinking of the meaning of the word “chimera” in its many contexts: daydream, fiction, mythical monster, fish.
In her body of work, the artist often investigates the intimate feminine universe, mining the hidden layers in the architectures of the world, frequently starting from natural, organic elements. In the past, she utilized materials taken from her own home – bricks, gravel, dust and paint chips -, she investigated the system of bees and captured mist and dew. Now, also on the dreamlike path of memory, Baltar makes the ocean her intimate space. “Thinking of the ocean and the word chimera, I discovered that in the depths all beings are hybrids,” she says.
In A Carne do Mar, curated by Marcelo Campos, the artist presents 12 sculptures of ceramics or enameled porcelain created in 2017. The works imprint a variety of narratives on elements from the marine world. Different meanings are attributed to shells, like in A concha triste [“The sad shell”], O berro da concha [“The shell’s bellow”], A concha fantasma [“The ghost shell”], or in the series Vaginas. Elsewhere, like in the As lambidas do mar [“Licks of the ocean”], she creates sculptures evocative of ornaments of Portuguese porcelain, like the revival of a historical sea, a sea that discovered us.
Brígida Baltar (1959, Rio de Janeiro) lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, where she earned her degree at the Parque Lage School of Visual Arts. She began her career in the 1990s with small poetic gestures at her home and studio. She has participated in numerous biennials, including the 25th São Paulo Biennial (2002), the 17th Cerveira Biennial in Cerveira, Portugal (2013), The Nature of things — Biennial of the Americas in Denver, EUA (2010), the Panorama of Brazilian Art (the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2007) and the 5th Havana Biennial in Cuba (1994). Her work has been presented in a number of international exhibitions, such as Cruzamentos: Contemporary art in Brazil, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, USA (2014), SAM Art Project, Paris, France (2012), The peripatetic school: itinerant drawing from Latin America, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, England, (2011), Art Museum of Bank of the Republic, Bogotá, Colombia, (2012) and Constructing views: experimental film and video from Brazil, the New Museum, New York, USA (2010). Her work is featured in several collections, including the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection, Mexico City, Mexico, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, USA, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife, Brazil, the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough, England, the University of São Paulo Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo, Brazil, the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Pinacotheca of the State of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, among others.