(last updated in July 2016)
Tanque Novo, Brazil, 1982.
Lives and works in Salvador, Brazil
PIPA 2015 Nominee.
Magalhães develops his work in painting. His pieces emerge from metaphors created from: drives, psychic conditions and substrates from a personal imaginary condition, to reach a state of Image / Body. The results are obtained by means of devices that are born of a modus operandi, starting from a photographic act and which materializes itself into painting. The artist present meticulously planned scenes, capable of blurring the limits of perception, configured as distortions of reality and disturbing contours. Thus, his work brings together a series of operations in which his painting reaches across the boundaries of the Ego to find the Other, the Self.
“Video/Portilifolio/Processos”, 2015. Duration: 7′
Fábio Magalhães’ main solo exhibitions include 2008, in the Alliance Française Art Gallery, Salvador, Brazil; in 2009, “Games of Meanings”, Conselho Gallery, Salvador, Brazil; in 2011, “The Great Body”, Conselho Gallery, Salvador, Brazil; and finally in 2013, “Intimate Portraits”, Laura Marsiaj Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
His main group exhibitions include: 2012 “Invitation to Travel – Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013”, at Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil, curated by Agnaldo Farias; in 2012 “The Wire of the Abyss – Rumos Artes Visuais, 2011-2013”, Belém, Brazil, curated by Gabriela Motta; “Territories” in FUNARTE / Northeast Room”, Recife, Brazil curated by Bitu Cassundé; “Reflected Mirror” at the Cultural Center Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, curated by Marcus Otter; “Paraconsistent” in ICBA, Salvador, Brazil, curated by Alejandra Muñoz; in 2009, “60th Salon of April” in Fortaleza, Brazil; and “63 Salon Paranaense” in Curitiba, Brazil; in 2008 “XV Hall of Bahia” in Salvador, Brazil; and finally in 2007 “I Biennial Triangulo” in Uberlândia, Brazil.
by Gabriela Motta, curator
Fábio Magalhães’s work surprises us, with its large, clean canvases displaying vivid innards. These pieces of (human?) flesh are sometimes hung up hygienically in bags or with string, or else sewn or stretched across equally sterile surfaces. These are not remains, they are not in putrid environments, nor do they seem to be rotten or discarded. They actually have an elegant dignity which helps create an atmosphere of austerity where one might expect something more morbid, given the nature of the images. These works are all from Magalhães’s Intimate Portraits series, started in 2011. In fact, the canvases are framed in such a way as to allude to the portrait format, giving them a sense of humanness. Apart from the fact that they are actually made of the same matter.
By combining these three elements – clean image, framing and poise – the artist addresses the issue of the kind of painting he chooses to do: oil on canvas with a very realistic register of an almost abstract motif (flesh and innards). All these choices tell us a good deal about the artist act. If the option of working with oils indicates the skill and enjoyment involved in producing these paintings, we must still reflect upon what the images’ framing and realism tell us. To make them, the artist first creates the scenes we see in his studio using animal guts, which he photographs before finally transposing them onto the canvas. In this process the portrait is brought into evidence. But also the determination to aspire for visual precision, the many hues of red, the folds of flesh that meld together in a mass, and the volume of the air. This is an artist that does not tire of observing the hidden side of his own image.
Those who use such a traditional support always run the risk of having technique override the subjective qualities of the painting. In Magalhães’s case, he conjures up a sensory experience where technique and poetry complement one another. It is impossible not to be surprised at the rigor of the painting, not to react with the heart. Our vision pulsates before this flesh- subject: dilation and contraction (systole and diastole) are the movements triggered by the power of these images that assail us.
“Olho terrível e mão certeira”, 2010
by Jorge Coli – PhD from USP – São Paulo University – Campinas University
Fábio Magalhães’s art pieces fascinate everyone. His fascination relies on a prodigy of stratagem.
It is here, from the stratagem, that mystery flows. Huge canvases , executed with rare and supported attention, offer our eyes, in a somewhat touchy suggestion, a flawlessly smooth surface. Doubt poses then, immediately. After all, is it photography or painting?
This amazement grows as the painting gets confirmed, oil painting, the most demanding that one may ever think of. Painting that obeys the truth of every detail, bringing it into a big synthetic project. Nothing, on these merciless canvases, seems to have been left at random.
The synthesis of this work operates in a reality much beyond reality itself, which makes use of what is deceptive, of tromp- l´oeil as an instrument of pictorial meditation. The word meditation should not be understood as a metaphor or general stuff. It is, essential, in the genetics processes of creation. The author says that, in order to get to the powerful canvases, he first sets a scene, a true performance, that is photographed. He chooses three of these photographs and puts them together, transforming them thanks to painting.
Painting wins, therefore, because the performance is ephemeral, and the photographs disappear, destroyed, or sent to an inaccessible file. Everything gets a solution in pure painting, full of very anguishing contrasts.
The choices were made during the first phase, i.e., in the beginning of the creation. They are about bodily, organic themes, crystallized in unquestionable purity. Nothing escapes from the terrible eye of the artist, who, as long as he decides the project, he refuses to choose. Also, nothing escapes from his accurate hand, which is unable to make concessions.
The smooth and the transparent skin works out fine, sometimes, as a partner of definite and clean violence. There isn’t any sensation of time, atmosphere, spontaneous. It is violence exposed as if in an organized shop window, frozen by a cold laboratory, enlarged, brought to the first plan eliminating spatial references. This violence constructed and elaborated through phases becomes metaphysics of itself, ontology of tortured flesh.
Such a process in which fantasy and imagination explode in the beginning in order for them to be treated with a disciplinary severity, it is not without remembering the orthodoxy of the neo classical painters, their tensions and their vehemences.
Due to the meticulous and sharp treatment, the refusal of the bloody disorder, they are canvases that make us think of ‘Tiradentes’ by Pedro Américo. This superior art was revisited, tackled, mentioned by various contemporary artists, among the best known and the most important ones.
Fábio Magalhães doesn’t refer to this art: in an involuntary way, through merge of conception and spirit, it is his painting way that, as a matter of fact, can be compared, and put on the same level, a so high level.
Fábio Magalhães produces the asceticism of bodily violence, whose visual loot feeds itself with curious internal life (this strange life of art that also resides in ‘The Dead Christ’ by Mantegna. As you all can see, my enthusiasm doesn’t hesitate at the most important references).
In today’s arts there is a whole big sector that subjects to the most demanding and exact figure. It’s unavoidable to think of Fábio Magalhães’ canvases inserted in this current reality. However, his art pieces are to be thought beyond any trends, as they reach deep, secret, desperate disturbances.
– “Além do que se vê, aquém do intangível”, Curated by Alejandra Muñoz, Museum of Art of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil.
– “Retratos Íntimos”, Gallery Laura Marsiaj, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “O Grande Corpo”, Gallery of Conselho, Salvador, Brazil (Project executed by Edital Matilde Mattos).
– “Jogos de Significados”, Gallery of Conselho, Salvador, Brazil (Projeto executed by Edital “Portas Abertas para as Artes Visuais”).
– “Linhagens do Acaso”, Gallery Aliança Francesa, Salvador, Brazil.
– “Triangulações”, Curated by Divino Sobral, Marília Panitz and Alejandra Muñoz, Museum of Art of Bahia, Salvador; Centro Cultural UFG, Goiânia; Dragão do Mar, Fortaleza, Brazil.
– “Circuito das Artes”, Galeria Aliança Francesa, Salvador, Brazil.
– “À Sua Saúde”, Curated by Polyanna Morgana, National Museum of the Republic, Brasília, Brazil.
– “Bahia Contemporânea Bahia”, Curated by Marcelo Campos, Roberto Alban Gallery, Salvador, Brazil.
– “Como Refazer o Mundo”, Curated by Divino Sobral, Luiz Fernando Landeiro Arte Contemporânea, Salvador, Brazil.
– “Circuito das Artes”, Gallery Cañizares, Salvador, Brazil.
– “Triangulações”, Curated by Marília Panitz and Alejandra Muñoz, Gallery Paulo Darzé, Salvador; MAMAM, Recife; National Museum, Brasília, Brazil.
– “Crer em Fantasmas: Território da Pintura Contemporânea”, Curated by Marcelo Campos, Caixa Cultural, Brasília, Brazil.
– “Convite à Viagem”, Rumos Artes Visuais 2011/2013, General Curatorship by Agnaldo Farias, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Mutatis Mutandis”, Curated by Marcelo Campos, Gallery Moura Marsiaj, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Territórios”, Curated by Bitu Cassundé, Sala Funarte, Nordeste, Recife, Brazil.
– “O Fio do Abismo”, Rumos Artes Visuais 2011/2013, General Curatorship by Gabriela Mota, Casa das Onze Janelas, Belém, Brazil.
– “Convite à Viagem”, Rumos Artes Visuais 2011/2013, General Curatorship by Agnaldo Farias, Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Paraconsistentes”, Curated by Alejandra Muñoz, ICBA, Bahia, Brazil.
– “Espelho Refletido”, Curated by Marcus Lontra, Art Centre Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– “Corpo Incógnito: Água Viva”, Curated by Marcelo Campos, Gallery Amarelonegro Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
-“Pintura Nova”, Curated by Justino Marinho, Gallery Acbeu, Salvador, Brazil.
– “I Salão Semear de Arte Contemporânea”, Cultural Centre Semear, Aracaju, Brazil
– “Opinion”, Project executed by Edital Matilde Mattos, Galeria do Conselho, Salvador, Brazil.
– “Circuito das Artes 2010”, Gallery ICBA, Salvador, Brazil.
-“Salão Regional de Artes Visuais da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Camilo de Jesus Lima, Vitória da Conquista; Cultural Centre Antônio Carlos Magalhães, Jequié; Cultural Centre Amélio Amorim, Feira de Santana, Brazil.
– “63° Salão do Paraná”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Curitiba, Brazil.
– “60° Salão do Abril”, Gallery Antônio Bandeira, Fortaleza, Brazil.
– “Circuito das Artes 2009”, Gallery Aliança Francesa, Salvador, Brazil.
– “XV Salão da Bahia”, Museum of Modern Art of Salvador, Brazil.
– “IX Bienal do Recôncavo”, Cultural Centre Dannemann, São Felix, Brazil.
– “Salão Regional de Artes Plásticas da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Adonias Filho, Itabuna, Brazil.
-“Salão Regional de Artes Plásticas da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Camilo de Jesus Lima, Vitória da Conquista, Brazil.
– “Bienal do Triângulo”, SESC/MG, Uberlândia, Brazil.
– “Salão Regional de Artes Plásticas da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Amélio Amorim, Feira de Santana, Brazil.
– “Afetos Roubados”, Exposição Itinerante e Processual, Conjunto Cultural da Caixa, Salvador, Brazil.
– “Salão Regional de Artes Plásticas da Bahia”, Cultural Centre João Gilberto, Juazeiro, Brazil.
– “INSERÇÔES”, Galeria Cañizares, Salvador, Brazil.
– “VIII Bienal do Recôncavo”, Cultural Centre Dannemann, São Felix, Brazil.
– “Salão Regional de Artes Plásticas da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Camilo de Jesus Lima, Vitória da Conquista, Brazil.
– “Afetos Roubados”, Exposição Itinerante e Processual, Museum Théo Brandão, Maceió; Gallery Capibaribe da UFPE, Recife; University Santa Marcelina, São Paulo, Brazil.
– “Salão Regional de Artes Plásticas da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Amélio Amorim, Feira de Santana, Brazil.
– “Afetos Roubados”, Exposição Itinerante e Processual, ICBA, Salvador, Brazil.
– “VII Bienal do Recôncavo”, Cultural Centre Dannemann, São Felix, Brazil.
– “125 anos de Escola de Belas Artes”, Centro de Memória e Cultura dos Correios Salvador, Brazil.
– Casa de Angola, Salvador, Brazil.
– Galeria Aliança Francesa, Salvador, Brazil.
– Sociedade Semear, Aracaju, Brazil.
– Prêmio Funarte Arte Contemporânea, Recife, Brazil.
– Acquisition Award, I Salon Semear de Arte Contemporânea, Sociedade Semear, Aracaju, Brazil.
– Popular Jury Award, I Salon Semear de Arte Contemporânea, Sociedade Semear, Aracaju, Brazil.
– Award Cultural Foundation of the State, “Salão Regional de Artes Visuais da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Camilo de Jesus Lima, Vitória da Conquista, Brazil.
– Special Mention, “Salão Regional de Artes Visuais da Bahia”, Cultural Centre Antônio Carlos Magalhães, Jequié, Brazil.
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