Exhibition views
Lucas Arruda, Deserto-Modelo as above so below, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2016
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Lucas Arruda, Deserto-Modelo as above so below, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2016
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It is with great pleasure that Mendes Wood DM presents Lucas Arruda’s third solo exhibition Deserto-Modelo as above so below. The first room introduces an installation that combines light and paint, where the light’s temperature and intensity are orchestrated over a period of nine minutes. The artist investigates the relationship between light and time, and the divisions established by a horizontal cut that is evident in most of his canvases, transfiguring the physicality that the observer’s optical subjectivity demands from the painting. This is conjured in the connection between an oil painted block on the wall and a light block, projected via dedolights installed on the exhibition room ceiling, forming a vertical rectangle.

There is a clear relation between the light block and the horizon, the sky, the image, and everything that permeates the world of metaphysical ideas. In the artist’s own words: the dreamed, the imagined, fantasy, the unreal, the remembered, the ethereal. In turn, the painted block at the bottom, almost imperceptible in white hues, suggests a reference to earth, the real, the concrete, and the tangible. The environment of contemplation and of forms related to memory is a synthesis of what the artist materialises in his paintings, offering continuity to the exhibition. 

The image’s horizontal line, both in the abstract intention of the light installations and the figurative intention of the canvases, seeks the absence of a commonplace, denying the observer the feeling of familiarity with the physical space. Arruda defines the idea of an empty space in the intermediate room adjacent to the light installations and his older oil paintings exceptionally well.  

The canvases in the second room are displayed at eye level. They all have the same measurements and, upon first glance, the same pictorial narrative. However, by observing them more carefully, we realise that they are not the record of a landscape but a light study through paint. Beyond that, his paintings deal with the experience of distance, the beginning and the journey of perspective, the horizontal line loosing itself between the light and the edges of the canvas.

In spite of what we could easily assume, these images are not produced from the artist’s direct observations; they are not the record of an image. His works are not committed to the existence of a material space, but rather of a sensorial space, a space of perception and light. His paintings seek silence. In pictorial terms, they raise existential questions about forms and variations that are recreated over time and through light.

Lucas Arruda (São Paulo, 1983) lives and works in São Paulo. His solo exhibitions included Deserto-Modelo, Lulu, Mexico DF (2015); Deserto-Modelo, VeneKlasen Werner, (2014); Deserto-Modelo, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2012). The artist has taken part in several group shows, including: Soft Power. Arte Brasil, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort (2016); First International Biennial of Asunción - Grito de Libertad, Asunción (2015); Stay in Love, Lisa Cooley & Laurel Gitlen, New York (2014); Chambres à Part, Edition VIII, La Réserve Paris, Paris (2013); I'll Be Your Mirror, Herald St, London (2013): Here is Where We Jump, Museo del Barrio, New York (2013); Dark to Light, H. M. Tower of London, London (2013); Arte Brasileira Contemporânea, Pinacoteca de São Paulo, São Paulo (2012); Os Primeiros 10 Anos, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2012).

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