Since her last exhibition at Galeria Nara Roesler | São Paulo, Sem palavras, in 2011, Cristina Canale – one of the most important Brazilian contemporary painters, who arose with the so-called Geração 80 [80s Generation] – has become interested in the female universe, which has been gradually taking over her production.
Generally based on everyday scenes, her works result from an elaborate work of composition with masses of color, shifting between figuration and abstraction, opening possibilities for the spectator’s subjective imagination.
Canale has structured this exhibition around an axis constituted by a series of paintings of female heads in classic portrait format. Around this narrative, other artworks unfold with representations of fragments of human figures, parts of the body and everyday gestures. Removed from their wholes and isolated, these parts acquire another dimension.
In counterpoint to the group of artworks formed by portraits and references to the human body, the artist presents a large (2 x 3 m) canvas of a chair sitting alone amidst the landscape. According to the painter, it is an everyday object that refers to femininity and recalls the seated women by Giacometti. “I have the impression that all of these works revolve around the dichotomy between presence and absence,” Canale observes.
Cristina Canale, one of the main names of her generation, arose in the art circuit beginning with her participation in the emblematic group show Como vai você, Geração 80? held at Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (EAV Parque Lage), Rio de Janeiro, in 1984. Like many of her colleagues, her initial production evinces the influence of the new international painting, mainly the German neoexpressionist trend. Charged with visual elements and a volume of paint, her first paintings show some affinity to matter painting, distinguished by the intelligent use of contrasting, vibrant colors that is notable in her work until today. At the beginning of the 1990s, Canale moved to Germany, studying in Düsseldorf under the orientation of Dutch conceptual artist Jan Dibbets. Her compositions began to acquire spatiality, with the suggestion of planes and depths, and greater fluidity in the use of colors.
The artist was born in Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil, 1961, and lives and works in Berlin, Germany. She studied drawing and painting at the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (EAV Parque Lage), Rio de Janeiro, in the early 1980s. Recent solo shows featuring her work most notably include: Cristina Canale: Zwischen den Welten, Kunstforum Markert Gruppe, Hamburg, Germany (2015); Entremundos, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil (2014); Protagonista e Domingo, Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz (IFF), Ribeirão Preto/SP, Brazil (2013); Arredores e Rastros, the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio), Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil (2010); and Cristina Canale, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo/SP, Brazil (2007). She participated in the 6th Bienal de Curitiba, Curitiba/PR, Brazil (2011), and in the 21st Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo/SP, Brazil (1991), winning the State Governor’s Prize. She received an arts grant from the state of Brandenburg, carrying out an artistic project at Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf (Castelo Wiepersdorf), Wiepersdorf (1993), and a grant from Deutscher Akademischer Austauch Dienst (DAAD) [German Service of Academic Exchange] to study at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf (1993–1995), both in Germany. She has artworks in important institutional collections such as: Coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand – Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio), Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil; Coleção João Sattamini – Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói (MAC-Niterói), Niterói/RJ, Brazil; Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo/SP, Brazil; the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (MAC-USP), São Paulo/SP, Brazil; and the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo/SP, Brazil.Photo: Everton Ballardin. Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler