Alexandre Melo

  • Cildo Meireles

    A black leather case divided in half, containing two symmetrical pockets; at the bottom of each pocket, earth. This carrying case holds the memory of a performance by Cildo Meireles that took place in November of 1969, in a border zone between the provinces of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Meireles’ performance consisted of digging a hole on either side of this virtual dividing line and exchanging the earth that had been dug from each. Mutações geográficas: fronteira Rio-São Paulo (Geographical mutations: Rio-São Paulo border, 1969) was perhaps one of the most subtle pieces in this retrospective

  • José Pedro Croft

    One of José Pedro Croft’s main avenues of inquiry is the delimitation of what is external and internal to each form. This question is developed both in the internal structure of each piece and in its articulation within the surrounding space. In his more recent works the dominant form has become the box, more specifically the box-arch, taking over from the box-tombs and box-houses. The horizon of the artist’s formal references stretches from the field of architecture into the field of everyday objects in which the arch joins with the table or the bowl.

    This exhibition illustrated a particularly

  • Jene Highstein

    In his recent show, Jene Highstein presented two sculptures and a series of drawings. The sculptures are part of a set of around fifteen pieces that Highstein has been producing in Portugal since 1989. Highstein began by selecting a series of marble blocks according to previously defined critera. Then he gave them a certain orientation by defining the side which would be the base. Finally, he adapted the shape to his intentions by hewing away certain areas and building up others with inlaying. The degree of transformation of the initial shape of the stone may be more or less marked, and in some

  • Perejaume

    Perejaume’s exhibition,“Two Geographies,” combined recent works and some from past years. The selection produced a systematic and somewhat didactic tone, and the analytic tendency clearly overshadowed the ambiguity otherwise characteristic of Perejaume’s works.

    The central theme of his work is the problematic relationship between art and nature, seen through an analysis of the landscape. Nature, through landscape, provides an already created background, a virtual fountainhead of artistic images and objects. But the movement from “natural” to “artistic” implies the intervention of the artist. In

  • Pedro Portugal

    Pedro Portugal’s ambitious project grows from his analysis of games and constructions—for example, the cube. A tool used in the perceptual training of children, it teaches them forms, colors, and manual dexterity, as well as stimulates their visual memory. The idea of the teaching cube was developed here in different ways. In Lisbon, at the center of the gallery on the floor, the artist presented a large flattened cube in the form of a cross; into its sides he cut 16 openings. The different forms of these openings correspond to marks of style of some of the 20th-century’s most famous artists:

  • Cristina Iglesias

    This exhibition of Cristina Iglesias’ recent works demonstrated the continued evolution in her concept of nature, her understanding of the process of artmaking, and of her ideas regarding architecture and light. In this work Iglesias “denaturalizes” the exterior, that is, she removes any reference to nature from the sculptures. Still this work may somehow conjure up projections of a long-forgotten nature; for example, in the construction of a landscape of sculptures. Thus, she allows the work to resonate beyond itself. Iglesias makes light a theme in these works by using various transparent

  • Pedro Proença

    Pedro Proença often presents his work in group shows alongside that of other artists notable for its visual exuberance,eclectic references, provocatively ludicrous elements, and clearly ironic approach to the making of art. Proença’s own work, however, is completely personal. His paintings are dominated by drawing and indeed, he commands a rigorous graphic technique. The figurative images lean toward the metamorphic, the expansive, and the ornamental. Human, animal, and vegetable forms develop rhythmically into perverse deformations that transform one into the other. Usually his drawings have


    O Moustro no Aquario The monster in the aquarium

    THE IDEA OF THE aquarium evokes in me three different recollections and feelings. In the first place, in chronological order, we have the small aquarium of childhood: an open sphere of transparent glass, almost full of clean water, where, without stop, small red fish move. The child places both hands around the aquarium and stares at the fish, his eyes wide open. The predominant feeling is one of fascination with a life form that is both strange and thrilling. Curiosity takes an enchanted form. A suave type of fear transforms itself into a ludicrous

  • Jose Pedro Croft, Rui Sanches

    The sculptors Jose Pedro Croft and Rui Sanches have exhibited jointly several times since 1985, together with a group that includes, among others, Cabrita Reis and Pedro Calapez. In his early work Croft used stone as his primary material. He employed geometric forms and placed blocks of stone one upon another. The starting point was a simple form—the parallelepiped—and the composition related to architectural forms, such as the arch and the column. It also made reference to the funeral architecture of tombs and coffins. These works had a tendency to be large, to have an anthropomorphic scale;

  • Rui Chafes

    In his early exhibitions, Rui Chafes showed site-specific sculpture. A single construction would fill the gallery, leaving only the necessary space for the circulation of the viewers. Some of these constructions had interiors that were large enough to be entered. Materially, they often contrasted “natural” elements, such as bamboo and wood, with “artificial” ones, such as plastic. The play of different materials was determined by the relation between structural form and the surface, and the total effect was enhanced by the choice of color, texture, and illumination.

    Chafes’ installations correspond

  • Michael Biberstein

    Michael Biberstein’s work combines two kinds of reference, each of distinct origin and resonance. One is the representation of landscape, executed within traditional modes and methods, and related to the history of certain kinds of painting—mainly Romanticism and early Chinese painting. The other are the formal elements of a reductionist attitude of minimalist appearance. Biberstein presents diptychs in which one panel depicts a landscape and the other presents a gray monochrome, as well as a number of smaller works on paper that juxtapose a delicate landscape with the floorplan of a house or


    IN TODAY’S SPECULAR PLAY between society and art, artists generating works based on the logic of redundancy bet on the re-presentation of the object as a demonstration of the inauthenticity of the real. This logic, however, operates by a short circuit: the artist’s denial of individual authority is presumed to deny, simultaneously, any possible new meanings for the objects that carry the artist’s signature. Yet when one speaks of new meanings for the object, one need not be committed to rehabilitating the Modernist myth of originality or of pure invention. For objects do not only refer to their

  • Juliao Sarmento

    The body as object and desire as mode are two topics that emerge from the work of Julião Sarmento. The artist’s mutable, visual language suggests a correspondence between his position as a producer of images and the position of the lover in relation to the object of his passion. Here, it is important to make a distinction between the common notion of passion and a tragic notion of passion. According to the common notion, passion is the expression of an explicit relation. According to the tragic notion, passion is the product of an impossible relation. In this second sense, passion is a work that

  • Leonel Moura

    The recent work of Leonel Moura deals with a pervasive problem on the contemporary artistic scene. The question at hand is, What social and economic geography informs our perception of the contemporary international cultural situation? Since the beginning of the decade, there has been an esthetic revaluation of cultural and regional traditions. In some cases, the result has been a simplistic analysis of the problem of cultural differentiation and homogenization. An interpretation based on a juxtaposition of regional cultures, or on the simple opposition between dominant and dominated culture,