An exhibition composed by works from artists who participated in the last edition of the international contemporary art fair Art Brussels, which happened in April 2013. The show presents works by: Rigo 23, Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak, Kevin van Braak, Hugo Canoilas, Heinz Peter Knes, Paulo Nozolino, Mika Tajima, Francisco Tropa and Willem Weismann.
Rigo 23 (Portugal, 1966) shows new works from the series Lost Birds. These are Madeira embroideries made from posters that the artist has been collecting from the street over the years and each announcing a lost pet bird. With a conceptualism between the popular and the high culture, Rigo 23 has been working on several media and using an eclectic language. His attention has been focused on artistic production forms integrated in temporary and autonomous collectives, but he also has a more individual practice in the field of painting, drawing, sculpture, installation and graphic production. Rigo 23 has been invited to participate in international exhibitions such as: Kochi-Muziris Biennale, in India (2012); Auckland Triennial, in New Zealand (2013); and Aichi Triennale, in Japan (2013).
Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak
Along with their individual routes, Rossella Biscotti (Italy, 1978) and Kevin van Braak (The Netherlands, 1975) have common concerns around the notions of history, memory and its distortion or erasure processes. Using installation, photography, sculpture and video, their works always depart from political and social events. Staircase is composed of two photographs of Casa della Scherma’s staircase, a building designed by the Italian architect Luigi Moretti. It derives from the project Cities of continuous lines, a document of the ruins and transformations of the architecture from Mussolini’s dictatorship.
Kevin van Braak
Kevin van Braak (The Netherlands, 1975) presents a series of photographs documenting a project that began with the exhibition knell dobre glas at Quadrado Azul in 2012. Within this show, the artist produced, in collaboration with José Esteves, a potter from the region of Barcelos, sixteen heads in clay representing, in a realistic aesthetic, figures intimately related to the economic, political and military administration of the planet: Paul Bulcke, Peter Vos, Philippe Mellier, Fernando Aguirre, Robert Stevens, Silvio Berlusconi, Hugh Grant, Iloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Alberto João Jardim, Alexei Miller, Andrew Liveris, David Lesar, George Friedman, John S. Watson and Richard Adkerson. The heads were then subject to the action of fire, and the result of that process were the shards, presented as an allegory of the current crisis and of the desire to overcome the present time, dominated by markets, by capital and by violence.
A series of recent paintings by Hugo Canoilas (Portugal, 1977) can be seen in Brussels. The artist, selected for the last edition of the São Paulo Biennial and participating in several international shows, develops a work in a constant mutation, freely using a wide range of languages and media, manifesting itself in a heterogeneous way. Canoilas wants to renew the view about what was already said and done in art.
Heinz Peter Knes
Hut (1996), a work that figured in Heinz Peter Knes (Germany, 1969) last solo exhibition at Quadrado Azul, is the artist’s proposal for the present show. Knes practices photography and, since 1999, he has been working as a photographer in different fields, producing work for an array of magazines, record labels, as well as the fashion label Bless. His name gained a greater recognition when one of his photographs was published on the cover of Butt, in 2003. Starting from a universe associated with youth and sexual identity, Knes takes at the same time a critical look at contemporary culture and the dominance of the image, including its use by individuals as well as by society.
Paulo Nozolino (Portugal, 1955) shows the new work Napoli (2013). Nozolino is one of the central figures of contemporary photography. He sees it the same way he sees life, using it to understand both the world and himself and taking it to the limits of his quest, his answers and his experiences. Public recognition accompanies the artist's work from the beginning. Awards such as the Villa Médicis, in France (1994), or the Grande Prémio Nacional de Fotografia (2006) and recently the Prémio Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores, in Portugal (2013), are reflections of such notoriety. His most recent solo show at Galeria Quadrado Azul – Gloom – has been attracting the attention of the critique.
Mika Tajima (USA, 1975), artist who conceived the interactive infrastructure for the event Book Machine, held last February at Centre Pompidou, Paris, presents works from her most recent solo exhibition at Quadrado Azul. Total Body Conditioning continued Tajima's interrogation of the maximized performing subject in the built environment, where material objects and production imperatives shape action. Furniture Art is an iterative series of paintings which are reverse spray painted acrylic frames. Each piece is subtitled by a geographic location, drawing on the specific psychogeographic associations that are produced by affective naming of colors and paints, its relationship to the rise of immaterial economy and its ambient global flows.
The works of Francisco Tropa (Portugal, 1968) reveal some of the several media used by the artist, such as sculpture, drawing, performance, photography or film, to convene a series of reflections introduced by the different traditions of sculpture. Subjects such as body, death, nature, landscape, memory, origin or time, are always present in his works, in an endless process of projection of references from the history of art, from other art works, from previous works of the artist, and from specific authors. Tropa has gained a significant attention by institutions and the critique, representing Portugal in the last edition of Venice Biennale (2011), and also participating in Rennes Biennial (2012), Istanbul Biennial (2011), Manifesta (2000), Melbourne Biennial (1999) and São Paulo Biennial (1999). This year, the artist will have three solo exhibitions: at Caterina Tognon Gallery, in Venice; at Gregor Podnar Gallery, in Berlin; and at La Verrière Hermès, in Brussels.
It is from a contemporary world characterized by excess and waste that Willem Weismann (The Netherlands, 1977) draws the subject matter for his work in painting. Environments, buildings, characters, events and objects are elements that appear on the canvas, combined in a fragmented way and rendered in strong colours. Weismann uses the canvas surface for the totality of all paint and brush related actions, as this is where his brushes have been wiped clean and the canvas used as a palette. The inclusion of every brush-related action on the canvas forms a complete historic residue and the reverberating noise of leftovers that have fallen by the wayside. Weismann shows the painting Libra Rising, prepared for the most recent solo exhibition at Galeria Quadrado Azul – Chaîne Opératoire.