OCTOBER 23 – DECEMBER 21, 2013
RECEPTION: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 6–8 PM
Tilton gallery is pleased to present A Line, an exhibition of new work by Brazilian artist Jarbas Lopes. This will be Lopes' second solo show with the gallery. A reception, with artist in attendance, will take place Wednesday, October 23rd, from 6 to 8 pm.
Jarbas Lopes makes paintings, sculptures, drawings, artist books and performances. His works are participatory, sensual and tactile and the artist encourages viewers to touch, hold, shake, turn pages. Utopian projects are planned and realized to involve the community and offer new ways for society to function.
For this exhibition, Lopes has created a series of large black and white works made of woven, stretched elastic wrapped around stretchers. In some works, the edges of the elastic bands have been colored or dipped in ink so faint lines of color or washes of black ink animate the abstract irregular geometric patterns of these woven paintings. Small objects and balls inserted below the elastic surface cause three dimensional bulges and visual movement. Leaning against the wall, these works are at the confluence of object and painting though the artist considers them paintings. A smaller group of similar works are meant to be held and moved, handled and shaken so the sounds and rattles of the interior objects become part of the experience. Knots within the woven strips also create surface irregularity and movement and elicit the presence of the artist's hand and a sense of his performative energy. Simultaneously rough and elegant, this body of work evokes the handmade quality of this technique of weaving going back to early Brazilian Indians, and employed in various forms by the artist since his early work. Both the organic geometry and the sensory and participatory quality of this work echoes and takes further many of the principles and visual themes in Lopes' artistic heritage and the Neoconcrete movement of Rio de Janeiro that included such artists as Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape and Helio Oiticica, and that is finally being recognized in Europe and North America for its importance within Western art history.
Also on exhibit is a model of a project that Lopes has been working on since 2001. Cicloviaera, or Aerial Bikeway, will be exhibited by the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), Rio de Janeiro in 2014 when the museum is planning the realization of 100 meters of an inaugural track in an adjacent park. It will be in real life scale and people will be able to use it. Cicloviaerais imagined as an elevated path that facilitates long distance cycling in the context of daily urban transportation. Long before Lyon or Paris or New York supported the use of the bicycle for city dwellers, Lopes conceived of this project that captures the imagination and invites participation in this 50% human, 50% machine collaboration known as cycling. Since its first exhibition in Sao Paulo in 2001, the project has been evolving, presented in diverse manners in institutions, galleries and public spaces in South and North America as well as in Europe. Drawings, often in the form of artist books and zines, have accompanied the visualizations of the project throughout the last decade, as well as a series of bicycles - usable sculptures - woven in rattan or used bicycle tubes. Here, placed on a table, this model of Cicloviaera is surrounded by six small actual child-size bicycles that again bring in the participatory importance of the viewer and underline the usability of this project once realized.
Lopes also exhibits a group of artist books with abstract images, also meant to be handled by the viewer. Lines made by perforated holes form intricate geometric designs throughout the colorful pages. A series of small ink monoprints draw reference to nature into the exhibit and focus on the importance of the accidental, the magical moment of creation in the most abstract sense.
Jarbas Lopes was born in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, where he still lives and works. He graduated in sculpture from the Escola de Belas Artes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. He has had solo shows in both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, as well as New York, Miami and Lisbon, Portugal. His work was included in the XI Biennale de Lyon, France, the Gwangju Biennial, Korea, and many other shows worldwide. Prizes include the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Miami Art Central Debuts Fellowship Program and his work is included in museum collections such as those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro.