Alexandre Melo

  • Ana Vidigal, Só a poesia nos pode salvar. Há lugar para mim? (Bambi a fugir de lá) (Only Poetry Can Save Us. Is There Room for Me? [Bambi Fleeing from There]), 2017, mixed media on paper, 63 × 50".

    Ana Vidigal

    A merging of personal and cartographical histories was evident throughout Ana Vidigal’s solo show, particularly in two attention-grabbing works, stationed near the gallery entrance, whose elements and titles both offered valuable clues as to the exhibition’s larger concerns. The first, a mixed-media piece titled sem família (say it in modern greek) (Without Family, [Say It in Modern Greek]) (all works 2017), incorporates burlap scraps from Sharjah and a Greek-language phrase book for tourists in a framed collage resting upon twenty-four sandbags. Connecting the composition’s elements are strips

  • View of “Rui Chafes,” 2017. Photo: Alcino Gonçalves.

    Rui Chafes

    Entering the exhibition space, one saw two parallel rows of vertical sculptures, apparently abstract, in black iron. This material and color are hallmarks of the art of Rui Chafes, as is the vertical format that the artist (in texts and conversations) relates to European architecture and gothic sculpture, and places in opposition to the horizontality that he considers characteristic of modern sculpture (except for Giacometti, whose evocation here may not be by accident)—above all, the American sculpture of the second half of the twentieth century.

    Given the exhibition title “Incêndio” (

  • António Ole, Margem da Zona Limite (On the Margins of the Borderlands), 1994–95, iron, bricks, embalmed crows, paper, archive folders, TV sets, dimensions variable.
    picks December 13, 2016

    António Ole

    “Luanda, Los Angeles, Lisbon,” a retrospective of Angolan artist António Ole, offers a unique opportunity to delve into the story of a diverse imagination who is a source of inspiration to recent generations of Angolan artists. Viewers also get to further understand Angola, a country with a complex history that has much to say about social transformations in Africa and post–Cold War colonialism.

    World of Writing, 1985—produced in Los Angeles, where Ole studied film—brings to mind comic strips and the post-Pop discourses that influenced the artist in the 1970s. Sobre o consumo da pílula (On Taking

  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Ghost Teen, 2009, ink-jet print, 29' 6“ × 49' 3”.

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s survey exhibition—a noteworthy curatorial achievement by Gridthiya Gaweewong—inaugurated a new museum of contemporary art and a new cultural hub in the city where the artist now lives. The museum’s facade is covered with fragments of mirrors that refract and scatter light, a design inspired by Thai “spirit houses,” found in the entrances of homes and public buildings and intended to respectfully welcome previous inhabitants and their past lives. This architectural setting was a fitting prologue to one of Apichatpong’s strengths: the ability to unite a

  • Alair Gomes, Untitled, 1966–78, gelatin silver print, 12 × 8 7/8". From the series “Symphony of Erotic Icons,” 1966–78.

    Alair Gomes

    The young male body is the fundamental theme of Alair Gomes’s photographic work. This emphasis is all the more striking given the repressive political and cultural context of Brazil in the 1960s and ’70s. So Eder Chiodotto has rendered a great service to admirers of the photographer, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1921 and died there in 1992, in curating “Young Male: Photographs by Alair Gomes,” the largest show of Gomes’s work ever presented by a commercial gallery.

    Gomes studied engineering and the physical sciences, but from an early age he developed a fixation on the theme of the male

  • Leandro Erlich, Blind Window, 2016, glass, fiberglass, 91 x 74 x 51".
    picks August 09, 2016

    Regina Silveira and Leandro Erlich

    When you approach this new space, it’s not easy to tell that it’s an art gallery, because what you first see is a house, which was designed in 1958 by Rino Levi, with landscaping by Roberto Burle Marx. It’s rooted in a peculiar relationship between interior and exterior in which nature, in the form of two outdoor gardens, makes its way in through the building’s glass walls. With Regina Silveira’s works and Leandro Erlich’s installation, this indoor-outdoor relationship is particularly gratifying. The concept has been a long-standing interest of both artists.

    An exhibition of Silveira’s work at

  • View of “Igor Jesus,” 2015–16. From left: De costas voltadas (Back to Back), 2015; Domingo (Sunday), 2015; Polaroid, 2015; Polaroid, 2015. Photo: António Jorge Silva.

    Igor Jesus

    When Igor Jesus conceives an exhibition, he begins with an overall approach to the space in which he will be showing, and to the process by which he must transform it in order to achieve his objectives. In the case of this show, his first at the venue, the challenge was a considerable one: Galeria Filomena Soares, boasts the largest contiguous space of any private gallery in Portugal.

    At the entrance, the artist built a black box in which was projected the video that gave the exhibition its title: The Last Letter to Santa Claus (all works 2015), a loop of nearly thirty-two minutes. The visitor

  • Alexandre da Cunha, Comédia I, 2015, bicycle saddle, canvas, 15 3/4 × 15 3/4 × 6".

    Alexandre da Cunha

    Walking along Rua Padre João Manuel, in São Paulo’s Jardins District, one notes the solidity and order of the buildings that line the street, their almost exact symmetry and their geometric design. Recently, anyone glancing into the windows of the gallery that occupies the ground floor of number 775 might have thought the space contained an exhibition of abstract paintings, works as geometric and patterned as the surrounding buildings outside. But things are not always what they seem, even, or perhaps especially, in an exhibition titled “Real.”

    The exhibition was advertised by a poster with a

  • Paulo Nazareth, CA – for BLACK, 2014, plastic and wooden combs, 14 1/8 × 37 3/4 × 1 1/2".

    Paulo Nazareth

    Upon entering the gallery’s warehouse space during the opening of this exhibition, the visitor was greeted by the sound of an unusual chant and the smell of home-cooked food. The aroma was of traditional Brazilian fare offered visitors in a family-style banquet setting. The sound came from a video installation shot entirely in the dark, making it a work to hear rather than see: Aprender a rezar Guarani e Kaiowá para o mundo nao acabar (Learn to Pray Guarani and Kaiowá So the World Doesn’t End), 2013. The work documents the ceremony in which the artist, a Brazilian from Minas Gerais, of mixed

  • View of “f. marquespenteado,” 2013.

    f. marquespenteado

    Wooden boards (similar to those used in temporary construction sites), some painted pink, were placed over the white walls of the gallery, creating a uniform base for the works included in f. marquespenteado’s recent exhibition “Denominador Comum” (Common Denominator). This artist’s work takes in, welcomes, and renews objects that have been abandoned or rejected (as a function of the logic of accelerated turnover of consumption) or that were bequeathed to us as legacies of experience we cannot share. He is particularly drawn to the world of textiles, to activities such as sewing, darning, weaving,

  • Miguel Rio Branco, untitled, 2012, video projection (color, sound, 3 minutes 52 seconds), vibrating machines, metal plates. Installation view.

    Miguel Rio Branco

    Following an artist’s career for more than twenty years, we construct a memory of him as an amalgam of images and experiences that have fascinated us and come to belong to us. I’ll never forget the first works I saw by Miguel Rio Branco: photographs of boxers training, highlighting the sensuality of the athletes’ very imperfections or the gleam of sweat on their skin, and the extraordinary film Nada levarei quando morrer, aqueles que mim deve cobrarei no inferno (I’ll Take Nothing with Me When I Die, Those Who Owe Me I’ll Collect in Hell), 1979–81, an exercise in gentle voyeurism revealing

  • Dias & Riedweg, Peladas noturnas (Nocturnal Kickabouts), 2012, still from a three-channel HD video installation, color, sound, 3 minutes 57 seconds. From the series “Pequenas histórias de modestía e dúvida” (Small Stories of Modesty and Doubt), 2011–12.

    Dias & Riedweg

    The exhibition “Até que a Rua Nos Separe” (Until the Street Do Us Part), installed in exemplary fashion at the Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica in a commercial district of central Rio de Janeiro, brought together nine video installations and four series of photographs made in the city between 1992 and 2012 by Maurício Dias and Walter Riedweg. Their work demonstrates the relationship between art, politics, and society in the complex urban context that is Rio, from the social cataclysm of the 1990s to the present-day efforts toward “liberation” of the favelas, passing through the empire of drug