São Paulo/Vienna

“Neobarroco”/João Pedro Vale

Galeria Leme/Layr:Wusestenhagen Contemporary

Exhibited as part of the group show “Neobarroco” in São Paulo along with works by Camila Sposati and Friederike Feldmann, the most recent large-scale sculpture by the Portuguese artist João Pedro Vale, Foi bonita a festa, pá (The Party Was Beautiful, Yes), 2006, was constructed from a jangada, a balsa raft from the northeast of Brazil. This craft seems particularly appropriate to its situation in this gallery, the work of Paulo Mendes da Rocha (winner of this year’s Pritzker Prize), who has created a long, narrow, very high nave, much like an overturned boat.

Let us examine the metamorphoses and dislocations that Vale has performed on this raft (instead of the caravel of his colonialist ancestors) with which, as a Portuguese, he arrives today in Brazil. Vale painted the boat red, generating maximum contrast with the browns and golden yellows of its decorations: empty beer bottles and their

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