Camila Belchior

  • Marcia de Moraes

    Over the past decade, Marcia de Moraes has developed colorful, abstract drawings that explore coexistence, investigating and negotiating dichotomies such as vacuity and solidity, constriction and expansion, corporeality and abstraction, neurosis and calmness. Her use of similar recurring patterns, inspired by objects she photographs, has forged a recognizable visual lexicon that includes shapes reminiscent of abstracted tongues, teeth, eggs, leaves, vines, cylinders, cords, and spheres. This exhibition featured collages and visceral ceramic sculptures alongside her drawings, whose expansive

  • Jaime Lauriano

    Brazil’s colonial past was the central theme of Jaime Lauriano’s exhibition “Assentamento” (Settlement). The title refers both to the name given to territory occupied by landless or homeless settlers and to the sacred areas designated for worship in Candomblé, a religion practiced mainly in Brazil, which draws its beliefs from various African traditions and is historically associated with slaves’ resistance.

    The exhibition featured eight works, all from 2017. Trabalho (Work) was a large wall installation for which Lauriano collected found objects such as tapestries, a jigsaw puzzle, calendars,

  • Paula Rego and Adriana Varejão

    A powerful pairing of artworks by artists of different generations and backgrounds brought together imagery that spoke to their shared interests. Both Adriana Varejão (from Brazil and born in 1964) and Paula Rego (born in Portugal in 1935 and based mostly in London since the 1950s) use parody, theatricality, and collage-like recombinations of image fragments derived from literature, history, and folklore to explore the central role of narrative in shaping notions of culture and identity and how they are rooted in cross-pollination and power dynamics.

    Rego is known for her taste for female

  • Pedro Reyes

    Mexican artist Pedro Reyes’s recent exhibition featured two distinct groups of medium-size sculptures, one figurative and the other geometric. While this juxtaposition might at first have appeared incongruous, it follows the practice of an artist who was trained as an architect and never cultivated one signature style or preferred medium. His passion is exploring the transformative power of activism, collaboration, and collective and individual participation in art.

    Visitors first encountered five black stone monoliths (four made of marble and one of volcanic rock) set on pale plywood plinths.

  • Valdirlei Dias Nunes

    Valdirlei Dias Nunes has been working in between painting, sculpture, and drawing for more than twenty-five years, but the formal economy and precision in his work has kept his aesthetic singular and untouched by current stylistic trends. His exhibition “Pinturas e Relevos Recentes” (Recent Paintings and Reliefs) included seventeen pristinely executed, predominantly black or white, wall-mounted pieces that seductively hovered between abstraction and figuration.

    Six black paintings in various sizes lined up along one of the gallery’s long walls showed delicate regular golden grids on their surfaces,

  • Daniel Senise

    Brazilian artist Daniel Senise is often referred to as a painter, despite his use of many different mediums since he began making artwork in the 1980s. Senise has painted a great deal, of course; he was trained in the practice (after earning a degree in engineering), and the term painting accurately describes most of the work he made early in his career. But as his oeuvre has developed, it’s become clear that the core of his art lies not in a medium that defines what he does, but in the impetus to experiment and decipher ways of seeing and constructing images. In doing so, he works through

  • Lydia Okumura

    With little more than acrylic paint, graphite, and string, Lydia Okumura’s large-scale artworks heighten viewers’ perceptions of space. For the installations and wall drawings in “Dentro, o que existe fora” (Inside, What Exists Outside), the artist used colored planes to form simple geometrical compositions that nonetheless produced complex experiential effects, giving the impression of three-dimensional shapes folding into and out of the corners, walls, and floors of the gallery, as if collapsing out of and drawing viewers into revealed spaces existing parallel to the structural planes of the

  • Felipe Cohen

    That alluring, fleeting, and familiar moment of sunset, when the sun seems to touch the horizon and dissolve into the west, when a soft light bathes one’s surroundings with gentle hues, was the subject of the abstracted landscape paintings on wood and wall-mounted mixed-media objects in Felipe Cohen’s exhibition “Ocidente” (West). This was a show of subtleties and nuances in artworks whose subject matter could be seen as mundane––a far cry from the overcharged and imposing aesthetics and subjects that define much of contemporary art today.

    Despite an overall sense of receptive calm and familiarity,

  • Sandra Gamarra

    Sandra Gamarra’s temporary site-specific installation Cielo Raso, 2016, orchestrated a powerful, if unexpected, collision between pre-Columbian religious culture and the modernist grid. In creating the work, the artist was responding to a commission by Bruno de Almeida, curator of the project SITU, which explores the intersection of art, architecture, and the public sphere. The work’s title is the Spanish equivalent of the English phrase “dropped ceiling,” but contains an ambiguity: Cielo means “sky” or “heaven,” and raso means “shallow” or “flat.”

    Gamarra, whose work is deeply rooted in her

  • Iran do Espírito Santo

    Iran do Espírito Santo’s recent exhibition “Fuso” included one site-specific wall work and two sculptures, all anchored in the concept of time. The Portuguese titlehas both temporal and mechanical implications. It can refer to the time difference between geographic zones (fuso horário), the spiral thread of a nut or bolt (fuso mecânico), the mainspring of a clock, or an apparatus used in the spinning of thread in preindustrial times, that is, a spindle. The point of intersection between ideas that revolve around industrial evolution and its effects on art—its making and its form—is

  • Marina Saleme

    Brazilian artist Marina Saleme has been making art since the 1980s. Her most recent show, “O céu que nos protégé” (The Sheltering Sky), displayed a selection of nineteen wall-mounted artworks that thoughtfully probe the status of images in contemporary life, particularly their constructed status and impermanent nature. Saleme is known for her slow creative process that sometimes results in works made from layers of paint, photographs, and drawings. In this show—whose title refers to Bernardo Bertolucci’s film of 1990 rather than the 1949 Paul Bowles novel on which it was based—Saleme

  • Daniel de Paula

    The open-air patio that stands between the two concrete buildings that house Galeria Leme, designed by Brazilian Pritzker Prize–winner Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Metro Architects, is usually used as a parking area. This unassuming space serves as the stage for SITU, a program (organized by curator Bruno de Almeida) of site-specific projects by Latin American artists that is intended to explore the intersections of art, architecture, and the city.

    For the second edition of SITU, de Almeida invited Daniel de Paula, a Brazilian artist based in São Paulo whose artworks are typically site-specific

  • Lais Myrrha

    A large gray mound on the floor of the gallery—visible at an angle from the street, through the glass door—suggested an indoor renovation project. But this seemingly mundane mass was actually part of one of the works in Lais Myrrha’s exhibition “O instante interminável” (The Interminable Instant). The video projection that lent its name to the show (all works 2015) seduced me for all of its nearly fourteen minutes. There was something familiar in its deliberate, fluid metamorphosis from pastel to hot hues—the formless patches of changing colors and textures reminded me first of

  • picks October 30, 2015

    Adriana Varejão

    One of Brazil’s most expressive contemporary artists, Adriana Varejão makes artwork at once provocative and visceral, appropriating and uniquely processing an arsenal of subjects ranging from her country’s colonial past to the history of artistic practices in the West and China. She comments on the formation of Brazilian culture and identity as well as her own. “Pele do Tempo” surveys her thirty-year career via thirty-two works curated by Luisa Duarte.

    Of the show’s three adjoining spaces, one holds a selection of unprecedented references: illustrated books on the history of surgery and the art

  • Christian Rosa

    The sensation of continuous space and an underlying feeling of déjà vu resonated from the whimsical paintings of Brazilian-born Christian Rosa at White Cube São Paulo—the gallery’s final show in the warehouse it has used since 2012. “Mais que nada” (More Than Nothing), a solo outing by an artist little known in the country of his birth—he was raised in Austria, where he now lives—was a timely choice to end the gallery’s local exhibition calendar. The eye-catching quality of the seemingly unassuming squiggles, swirls, scribbles, and patches of color on the nine large, sparsely

  • Luiz Zerbini

    Times are tough in Brazil: With almost daily political scandals and a fierce drought in the nation’s largest city—brought on in part by poor resource management—Brazilians seem desperate to rekindle their faith in their country. Luiz Zerbini’s vibrant and elevating exhibition at Galeria Fortes Vilaça’s warehouse may have offered them something to believe in. In eight medium- and large-scale paintings, the artist’s juxtaposition of figuration and geometry, natural and man-made forms created a rhythmic visual dialogue culminating in the extensive mixed-media sculpture that lent its name

  • Fernanda Chieco

    The six large watercolors in Fernanda Chieco’s recent exhibition “Gone” are figurative works on paper inspired by her visits to abandoned cities in the Colorado Desert. While she was on a residency in Fort Collins, Colorado, she discovered that in the state there are roughly 1,500 of these “ghost towns”—settlements abandoned suddenly by their inhabitants, who left all their belongings behind just as they were—and she visited more than twenty of them.

    Chieco is best known in Brazil for her drawings: contours of the human body, only sparsely colored, that link it to the outlines of other

  • Ricardo Alcaide

    On entering Ricardo Alcaide’s solo show “Settlements,”I was struck by a sense of déjà vu. As my eyes scanned the large industrial warehouse where it was installed, I saw bare walls and a floor dotted with dozens of groupings of discarded materials—cloth, cardboard boxes, plastic bags, pieces of wood, and so on. In downtown São Paulo, it’s not unusual to come across similar objects piled on the sidewalk. Here, some were also placed on freestanding steel shelves used to bisect the space and hold some of the smaller artworks; the shelves were installed diagonally across from the entrance in

  • Leandro Erlich

    Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich’s show “La Invención” comprised three works, each of which highlights the way that ordinary things can become uncanny when, recontextualized, the quotidian is transformed into a space for inquiry. Because the show was split between unconnected rooms—an upstairs exhibition space and a ground-floor office—it was difficult for the viewer to realize that the video Global Express, 2011, playing in Luciana Brito’s office on an LED screen housed in a metal structure resembling a train window, was even part of Erlich’s show, especially since an exhibition by

  • Artur Lescher

    Artur Lescher has been making three-dimensional work since the 1980s, during which time he has built a solid artistic career in Brazil. In his most recent solo show, “Pensamento pantográfico” (Pantographic Thought), he presented seventeen works, most produced this year, inspired by the pantograph, an articulated gadget invented in the seventeenth century for copying forms at different scales.

    In the main gallery window was Pantográfica (Para Antonio Dias), 2013, a large, wall-mounted piece that resembles a metal gate, similar to the antique scissor types used in elevators. Hung on the wall, it