Mendes Wood DM presents Alface, Marcelo Cipis’ first solo exhibition at the gallery. This show unites paintings from the 90s and recent works, and introduces the artist’s ruleless gaze, humorously questioning the duty of painting at times of mass production.
The first room introduces some works from the series Tambores, made in 1996, which came up during a reflection on the silence of a depressed body. This silence is marked by an audible tempo, like a drumbeat, defining the pulsations of the body. This language’s journey develops throughout this almost dancing relationship between a figure and a sound, using color as desire, a desire that operates between the spaces defined by drawing.
Understanding the drum as body, the artist unfolds the absurdities of surrealism and ironizes the hierarchy between drawing and painting, as in his most recent series, Fluxo Direto, which is presented in the second room. Cipis delivers a reflection on simplicity and desire, this last one is important to the artist’s research, which comprehends a need for the gaze to escape towards something that one cannot achieve in nature, whether in an imitation of a sunset or one of an untouchable soft object.
Marcelo Cipis began his career as an illustrator, collaborating with newspapers and magazines. Starting in 1982, he participates in São Paulo’s contemporary art fairs and carries out his first solo shows. Working mainly with drawing and painting with a singular figurative vocabulary and references to modernism, design and advertising, as well as an intimate and autobiographical theme, the artist was featured in the 21st Bienal Internacional de São Paulo in 1991 with the installation Cipis Transworld, Art, Industry and Commerce, in which he recreates a fictitious multinational company’s stand with products and advertisements. The artist positions himself with a neo-dada style. Part of this installation was presented at the Fujita Vente Museum in Tokyo in 1993 and at the Havana Biennial in 1994.
After the biennial, in 1992, Marcelo returns to abstract painting for the first time. In 1996, he carries out the Tambores series of graphic paintings and drawings. In 2000, he receives a scholarship from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York. His works have always featured a diversity of artistic expressions and different pictoric procedures. In 2017, he carries out Cipis Transworld at Spike Magazine’s space in Berlin, curated by Tenzing Barshee.
Marcelo Cipis (São Paulo, 1959) lives and works in São Paulo.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)