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EXHIBITIONS

Haroon Gunn-Salie, James Lee Byars and Sonia Gomes at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo

Haroon Gunn-Salie “On The Line”

Mendes Wood DM has the pleasure of presenting “On The Line”, the solo exhibition of the South African artist Haroon Gunn-Salie.

The show groups a series of artworks drawing parallels between the Global South. The artworks re-appropriate everyday memorials and silent monuments, shoes hanging off street poles and telephone lines, often overlooked in the peripheries of our cities and the margins of our societies.

The artwork is comprised of a series of pairs of shoes, tied together by their laces and cast in bronze. The pairs of shoes were removed, stolen from telephone wires in different sites of Favela da Serra in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

The instalation is presented with a short film and photographs documenting the intervention at 3 locations, shot in Fazendinha, Canão and Curva do Tênis – Favela da Serra with locals from each community. The film concludes with the last shoe, a bronze sculpture being hung on a line in the periphery of Sao Paulo.

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at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo
until 21 May 2016

Haroon Gunn-Salie “On The Line” installation views at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2016

Courtesy: the artist and Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo.

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James Lee Byars

Mendes Wood DM has the pleasure of presenting the first solo show by American artist James Lee Byars in South America. The exhibition features a series of marble sculptures shown in display case/installations, as well as works created on paper. A search for the ephemerality of beauty and the minimalism of a paradoxically complex narrative transform the apparently formalist work into a silent revolution. The pieces question the time-space duality and the dialogue between physical and spiritual, presence and absence.

After studying art and philosophy, Byars moved to Kyoto in 1958, where he spent much of the following decade. This move was the beginning of a study undertaken based on his interest in Japanese theater and the rituals of Asian tribes. After these studies, the artist executed a series of works on folded paper, which were displayed in temples and a variety of museums. Throughout his career, he has also produced books, seemingly ephemeral objects and correspondences, which he used to send to his friends and acquaintances.

Obsessed with the idea of perfection, Byars produced a noteworthy work which gave form to his search for beauty and truth. Starting from what the artist called the “The first totally interrogative philosophy,” he creates and proposes art in scales that range from the vastness of outside space to the microscopic level of subatomic particles, in an attempt to outline the limits of our knowledge, and also enacts the desire for something more.
The artist has worked all over the world, living between New York, Venice, San Francisco, Bern, Los Angeles and Cairo. With a blend of socio-geographical references, his works provoke the meaning of the word contradiction – at times monumental, at others miniscule; between universal and personal poetic narratives, extravagance and simplicity – and cause tension in the individual’s visual experience. In the tensions that he provokes, the artist suggests that perfection can occur in the details of pictorial formalism, but also in moments of reflection and interpretation of the dialogue between the observer and the work.

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at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo
until 21 May 2016

James Lee Byars installation views at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2016

Courtesy: the artist and Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo.

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Sonia Gomes “Lines In Wefts”

Mendes Wood DM has the pleasure of announcing “Lines in Wefts”, the third exhibition of Sonia Gomes’s work at the São Paulo gallery. Gomes made a name for herself in recent years for work in which the interplay of found or donated objects transforms them into sculptures. After several decades working in Belo Horizonte, Sonia Gomes recently participated in such important international exhibitions as “Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016” at Hauser Wirth Schimmel, the 56th Venice Biennale, 2015 and No Man’s Land at the Rubell Family Collection.

In Lines in wefts, Sonia Gomes revisits the gallery with an exhibition in which the main piece Weaving the Morning I, II, III is structured in three nightgowns that were donated by a friend, who, after the decision to sell the family home, was permitted by the matriarch to give away her old bridal garments. Despite the matriarch’s humble origins (the story goes that she’s the daughter of a bricklayer), the garments are sophisticated, with pieces of hand-embroidered linens. Kept in storage for many years, these pieces came to Sonia already imbued with personal history. Any attempt at intervention requires the artist to be forever mindful from a point of view of extreme respect for the pieces, for the secrets they contain, for the time that has passed and is now gone forever, but which in their time were symbolic of a woman’s rite of passage. This is how the aesthetic experience in Sonia Gomes’s work begins.

The nightgowns were transformed into canvases for delicate drawings made of lines, pins, embroidery, and so on. Suspended from the gallery ceiling by kite strings, the nightgowns gain autonomy in the space, parading their colors; like canvases they put forth the artist’s drawings, which require the existence of the other, a second place where she, the artist, can weave her expression. Always concerned with the movement of the fabrics, in order to finalize the work, she has also made it necessary to maintain the instability of the original piece; the nightgowns are not attached to a rigid structure. The process is governed by the artist’s intuition, by her assiduous concern with the elevation not only the material in this case silk but also the object which has leant itself as medium. A way of breathing new life into something which seemed asleep.

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at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo
until 21 May 2016

Sonia Gomes “Lines In Wefts” installation views at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2016

Courtesy: the artist and Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo.

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