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Ricardo Brey, Mono-no-aware, 2016, ink-jet print, aged silver metallic paper, mirror, metal objects, and coins on canvas board, 20 5/8 × 28 1/2".

Ricardo Brey

Galerie Nathalie Obadia | Rue du Bourg Tibourg

Ricardo Brey, Mono-no-aware, 2016, ink-jet print, aged silver metallic paper, mirror, metal objects, and coins on canvas board, 20 5/8 × 28 1/2".

Ricardo Brey’s recent exhibition, “All that is could be otherwise,” comprised mainly recent collages on drawings and photographs, but its physical and conceptual centerpiece was a sculptural work that dates to the dawn of the millennium. For those unfamiliar with the Cuban-born artist who rose to prominence in the 1980s as a founding member of the avant-garde Volumen I collective, Birdland, 2001—a large nest made of old coats cradling several ostrich eggs and a swanlike saxophone—introduced two of Brey’s hallmarks: a strong association between nature and music (specifically Afro-Cuban and American jazz: in this case, Charlie “Bird” Parker) and his penchant for salvaged materials.

Made shortly after the birth of his daughter, Birdland also provided useful autobiographical context. Describing the nest’s saxophone occupant, Brey has pointed out that the instrument—surprisingly—was

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