Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo, São Paulo, Brazil
3 – 6 April 2014
Ecology, environment and nature serve as central themes in this year’s curated presentation.
The centrepiece of the booth is Leaf Boat with Floating Cargo (1992), a large-scale sculpture by the American artist Claes Oldenburg, which uncovers the relationship between object, senses and landscape. The work was featured in An Anthology at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 1995/1996 and in Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen: Down Liquidambar Lane; Sculpture in the Park, at the Museu de Serralves, Porto, Portugal in 2001. The apple core featured in this work recalls another piece by the artist from 1991, Geometric Apple Core, which was shown in a group exhibition presented at the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, in 1992 entitled Reperti, the environment seen by 18 renowned international artists (Reperti, O meio ambiente visto por 18 dos mais renomados artistas do mundo).
“[…] Yet my subject is the persistence of some form of nature, even under the most extreme conditions of its exclusion, if only as flowing or spattering paint, the memory of landscape, or of natural things touched, in the case of the apple, eaten.” Claes Oldenburg.
Pace’s booth will also feature Sea No. 8 (2012), an ash painting by one of the most influential and provocative contemporary Chinese artists working today, Zhang Huan. The artist began working with ash after contemplating the burning of incense as a meditative exercise at Shanghai’s Longhua Temple. The ash was imbued for him with a contemplative and transcendental quality that made it the right material for this now classical body of work. Zhang Huan will be the subject of Pace London’s upcoming exhibition at 6 Burlington Gardens from 25 April to 31 May 2014.
Sea No. 8 will be in dialogue with Manatee (1994), by the multi-disciplinary Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto. The black and white work is part of a series of diorama photographs that focus on taxidermied animals and their environments, yet reconstructed in natural history displays. Sugimoto’s visual trick presents itself with breathtaking credibility, grappling with the age-old question of photography’s claim to truth. Pace Gallery in New York will present new and recent Hiroshi Sugimoto work in an upcoming exhibition at 510 West 25th Street from 9 May to 28 June, 2014.
Jim Dine’s poetic bronze sculpture The Shell and the Log (1983) will also be on display at SP-Arte. In this piece the log becomes both part of the work and the pedestal for a bronze conch shell, an element that first appeared in Dine’s still-life paintings in 1978. This work continues to explore questions of nature and ecology.
Two photographs of the Roden Crater in Northern Arizona by the pioneering light artist James Turrell will provide insight into his life-long monumental project he’s been transforming since the 1970s. Turrell’s inspiration draws from astronomy, physics, architecture and landscape studies. Pace London’s exhibition James Turrell: Recent Works will run until 5 April.
Also included in the gallery’s booth will be an oil on linen painting by Alex Katz, a towering figure in contemporary art since the early 1960s. Known for his stylistic command of sprezzatura* (an effortless guise or perfected nonchalance), in 11:30 AM (2008) Katz encapsulates a calming balance that is characteristic of his virtuoso handling of paint in broad areas of vivid colours.
Works from artists who have had major exhibitions in Brazil will also be featured in this year’s presentation. They include an untitled rare gouache and ink on paper by Alexander Calder and Invisible Meetings (1996), an oil on canvas by Roberto Matta. While Calder was featured in solo exhibitions at the Ministerio da Educação e Saude of Rio de Janeiro and the Museu de Arte of São Paulo in 1948, and at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo in 2006, Matta’s Surrealist paintings were presented twice at the Bienal de Artes Visuales del Mercosur, Porto Alegre in 1997 and 2003.