Los Angeles

Renata Lucas


Renata Lucas works on an institutional scale and with unmistakable institutional ambition, but like that of certain other Brazilian artists whose work has gained both critical traction and market currency in the US over the past decade—Cildo Meireles and Hélio Oiticica, for example—some of Lucas’s most provocative work is, owing to its benignly threatening nature, completely untenable in the context of a major American museum. Her lighthearted but persuasive brand of institutional critique does not, therefore, operate from within the museum, but instead refuses to enter that economy; Falha (Failure), 2003/2007, shown recently at REDCAT, is a signal example of this strategy. This is not to suggest that Lucas’s installation is a deadly serious undertaking—quite the contrary. The artist’s insistence on empowering the viewer through direct interaction with her materials leads to an irresistibly

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