Rio de Janeiro

View of “Fernanda Gomes,” 2012–13.

View of “Fernanda Gomes,” 2012–13.

Fernanda Gomes

Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim

View of “Fernanda Gomes,” 2012–13.

It may be surprising to learn that Fernanda Gomes’s career began in the late 1980s, when in Brazil, as elsewhere, the artistic scene was dominated by neo-expressionist painting. Some of her objects may be handmade, and even handpainted, but there is nothing demonstrative about them. Instead of flaunting an ostensive physicality, they evoke intimacy—a line of white cotton thread patiently wrapped around two tiny nails—and draw one’s attention to the prolonged and delicate processes both of their making and of their placement alongside each other. One is reminded of Susan Stewart’s observation that the “laboriously handmade object” is not “an accumulation of materiality but rather an accumulation of transformations made in time.” Even the found objects Gomes appropriates have the passing of time stamped on them, in the form of material dilapidation. Old suitcases, well-worn

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