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Solange Pessoa

28/05 2015 – 01/08 2015

Mendes Wood DM is pleased to present Minas Gerais born artist Solange Pessoa's first solo show at the gallery. Pessoa holds her degree from the Guinard School of Art at Minas Gerais State University, where she has taught sculpture since 1993. Pessoa has built an artistic career over more than three decades with a strong connection to the Brazilian Baroque tradition – one that does not resort to the use of anachronisms or the simple revisiting of a tradition that is very much embedded in the artist's socio-cultural background.

Pessoa's work stands out for its density and abundance, giving onlookers the impression of being faced with an organic compound flush with the with pulsations of life and or subdued in the calm of death; the material seems to be forever yearning to transpose the form in which it is contained. Pessoa is immersed in a tradition in which there is a tenuous line of control between automation and trance, between the conscious and the unconscious. In the same way that it delves deeply into humanity's savage, animal core, Pessoa's work grants us access to a place of forgetfulness – a primordial aesthetic which is revisited through marks made on rocks and scenes related to the human, plant and animal kingdoms.

It is important to understand that Pessoa's scope is not reduced to the aesthetic field alone; nor is it representative of the artist's break with the geometric shape so studied and revered by her generation. In the metaphorical realm, her work suggests a temporal displacement, but does not limit itself to a reference to the past. On the contrary, her works are presented as recollections, as a precursor not only to order, but to the very need to create order out of meaning.

The essence of her practice precedes the supremacy of form. It is pre-Modern. Her work exists in a silence in which forms seem to be latent. Always subversive, it negates any school or attribute while at once conversing with them organically. It is precisely here that the artist positions herself in a singular, pre-linguistic territory. This is the basis of her dual universality and strangeness in any context of contemporary art.

In Pessoa's first exhibition at the gallery her spectral figures yearn to live. They embody an ancestral urge to materialize in the world of solids and appear as though they were fashioned of fire, earth, water and wind. Three Mimesmas, punctuate the exhibition space, these deformed, Baroque sculptures, chiseled from soapstone, evoke the metaphysical meaning of the first human tool, while her drawings and five paintings evoke the earliest human gesture. These beings inspire and dazzle us with their silhouettes of an erotic and cosmological dance. We are not certain of the reason for these forms or how they came about or, even, if they are disintegrating before our very eyes. 

Solange Pessoa (Ferros, 1961) lives and works in Belo Horizonte. She works in a wide array of media from sculpture, installation, and ceramic to painting and video. Selected solo exhibitions include, Metaflor-Metaflora at the Museu Mineiro (Belo Horizonte, 2013), Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Belo Horizonte, 2008), Museu da Inconfidência (Ouro Preto, 2000), Palácio das Artes (Belo Horizonte, 1995) and Centro Cultural São Paulo, (São Paulo, 1992). Pessoa received a grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation (USA, 1996/1997), and has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, such as, Arte e Patrimônio at Paço Imperial (Rio de Janeiro, 2014), Mostra do Redescobrimento at CAPS Musée d'Art Contemporain (Bordeaux, France, 2001), Heranças Contemporâneas at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de São Paulo (São Paulo, 1999), Encontros e Tendências at the Museu de Arte contemporânea de São Paulo, (1993). Examples of Pessoa's work are permanently displayed at the garden of the Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Belo Horizonte, 2008) and the Capela Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (Santa Bárbada, 2004).

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