By Roger Costa
The Museum of Modern Art announces the fourth installment of the Issues in Contemporary Architecture series, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, an investigation into the intersections of architecture, Blackness and anti–Black racism in the American context. The exhibition and accompanying publication will examine contemporary architecture in the context of how systemic racism has fostered violent histories of discrimination and injustice in the United States with aspects revolving around 10 cities, including Miami and New Orleans.
Such conditions have structured and continue to inform the built environment of American cities through public policies, municipal planning, and architecture, with specific repercussions for African American and African diaspora communities. Projects will explore how people have mobilized Black cultural spaces, forms, and practices as sites of imagination, liberation, resistance, and refusal. The exhibition will be in view from February 27 thru May 31, 2021. MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street NYC. Go to www.moma.org for details. (Photo: Olalekan Jeyifous. Plant Seeds Grow Blessings.)
Beginning March 11, Lévy Gorvy will present The Two Sides of an Empty Line, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Paulo Monteiro.
Monteiro emerged as an artist in São Paulo, where he was born in 1961 and where he continues to live and work. Initially drawn to illustration and cartoon imagery, he was inspired to cultivate his painting practice in 1981, when he first encountered the late work of Philip Guston in Philip Guston, Sus Ultimos Años, the American exhibition at that year’s São Paulo Bienal. In 1983, he co- founded the artist’s group Casa 7 with Fabio Miguez, Rodrigo Andrade, Carlito Carvalhosa, and Antonio Malta. Inspired by Guston’s profound humor and incorporation of comic imagery into contemporary painting, as well by the example of European Neo-Expressionism, Monteiro and his compatriots in Casa 7 introduced a new energy to Brazilian painting. Monteiro would combine these innovations with the compositional concerns of Neo-Concrete art specific to Brazilian contemporary art to develop his singular practice.
Fascinated by ballet and practicing dance himself for many years, Monteiro brings to his work a bodily awareness that manifests itself in balance and poise. His dedication to intuitive process and gesture extends across mediums and may be seen in both his sculptures and paintings. The sculptures bend, extend, tense, and flex while succumbing to the forces of mass, torsion, and gravity; likewise, his abstract paintings offer an immediacy of visual effect and affirm their origins as emerging from bodily gestures.
Monteiro’s paintings—varied in their dimensions, exuberant colors, and gestural demarcations, and displayed individually and as part of larger ensembles—are united by the artist’s distillations of painting to its essential nature while exploring its idiosyncratic expressive potential. Lines traverse these paintings, sometimes straight, and sometimes forming subtle curves and ovoid shapes. Embracing indeterminacy and complexity while exploring the limits and boundaries of forms, Monteiro transforms inert materials into works of art that take on a life of their own.
Lévy Gorvy is located at 909 Madison Avenue
New York City. Go to www.levygorvy.com for details.