Exhibition views
Lágrima, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
1 of 8

Mendes Wood DM São Paulo
Rua da Consolação, 3368

I was only able to name this work when it was finished. When I began to reflect on the name, looking at the droplet shape, the word Tear came to mind. I finished the work in the second half of March, meaning it was my last work before the period of social distancing. We closed the studio and it hung on the wall for two months. It is very interesting that this was the last work I did before the pandemic. I never would have thought the world was about to cry so much.  – Sônia Gomes, March 2021

Mendes Wood DM is pleased to present a solo show by artist Sonia Gomes, our latest exhibition at the Rua Consolação space in São Paulo. The current exhibition brings together five works produced during the 2020 pandemic.

During her career, spanning 40 years, Gomes has twisted steel structures with the movement of her body and filled them with fabric, whose surfaces she has stretched and stitched. This exercise of strength begins without an end in mind; it is silent and apparently intuitive, and follows the sculptor’s non-linear thought, gradually revealing possibilities until then unknown. The result is what she calls “the image’s radical abstraction”. Her work is loaded with memory, as well as method and a sequence of details that involves work instruments, materials and studies before it even begins. The element that is often understood as intuition is, in fact, a conversation between the artist and her method. The rigorous rules that she follows in her studio are also fundamentally fluid and poetic.

The exhibition orbits around a work titled Lágrima [Tear], which was completed at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. The blue fabric with white details is cut through by a body that is recurrent in Gomes’ sculptures, made of different textures and forms on its surface. Known for her conflicting combinations, the artist builds a convergence point between all the different possibilities and combinations brought together by the memories that impregnate the fabrics. The works follow a process of destruction, and this is the first step in Gomes’ method: she tears, wrinkles and breaks in order to build her bodies. This entropic movement is what feeds the artist’s radicality, understood by her as fundamental. Losing control of the stories we experience is Gomes’ claim for this exhibition; the materialization of the most visceral feelings in the shape of a tear.

The exhibition comes into shape between twists and pendants, wall works and a new study – a light installation. In a dark room, which was also destroyed by the artist, a cage projects its shadows onto the wall. The work exists as a tool for the construction of a shadowy image, a sort of counter-image of freedom seen in an open and radically broken cage. The work is part of a series called Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, a title borrowed from a poem by Maya Angelou. It reveals an intense process for the artist. She explains that ‘the act of breaking these cages is an exercise of freedom through gestures’.  

The biographically-charged fabrics are tactilely and organically intertwined, as they experiment with new and vibrant forms of existence. Gomes shares her view on both suffering and hope, giving room to the voices of colors, celebrating the lives of her free and radical bodies through the use of memory – her most important tool – as the support for her sculptures.

Sonia Gomes (Caetanópolis, 1948) lives and works in São Paulo.

Her solo exhibitions include I Rise – I’m a Black Ocean, Leaping and Wide, Museum Frieder Burda and Salon Berlin, Baden-Baden/Berlin (2019); Silence of Color, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2019); Still I Rise, MASP ­– Museu de Arte de São Paulo/Casa de Vidro, São Paulo (2018); A vida renasce, sempre [Life is Reborn, Always], Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2018). Her work has featured in several group shows, including:  Imagens que não se comportam [Images that Don’t Behave], MAR – Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro (2021); Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju (2021); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2021); Unconscious Landscape Works from the Ursula Hauser Collection, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset (2019); Experimenting with Materiality, Lévy Gorvy, Zurich (2019); Histórias Afro-Atlânticas [Afro-Atlantic Histories], MASP, São Paulo (2018); O Triângulo Atlântico [The Atlantic Triangle], 11th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre (2018); Tissage, Tressage, Fondation Villa Datris, L'Isle-sur-laSorgue (2018); Entangled, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2017); Revival, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, USA (2017); 56ª Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2015).

We make use of cookie technology in order to increasingly improve your browsing experience on our website. Continue or close this message in order to allow the use of cookies. For more information regarding our Cookie Policy and how to manage your cookies, click here.