Until July 31rst, Vermelho gallery presents Marcelo Cidade‘s new solo show, The Rhetoric of Power. The artist presents new works from the series of the same name, in which he appropriates Frank Stella’s emblematic ‘Black Paintings’ as the formal basis for a critique of the use of art as a strategy for domination.
In 1959, when the US was imposing itself as an economic and cultural empire, North American artist Frank Stella presented his Black Paintings series at MoMA. Rejecting the tendencies dictated by Abstract Expressionism, his paintings set the stage for the artists of the minimalist movement, which emerged in the 1960s, and whose influence would later extend to the generation of postmodern painters in the decades following his career.
Check out bellow one of the quotes shared by the artist, available in the OVR:
“I thought it would be interesting to reproduce the parallel lines pattern of Frank Stella’s ‘Black Paintings’ with a product available on the market. Not the stock market, but the 99-cent market. These minimalist shapes are already implicit in our daily lives, from hostile architecture, the stock exchange and the shapes of mirrored buildings. I started studying Frank Stella and realized that in addition to the works having weird titles, he also deals with gesture control. In his paintings, the gesture is super controlled and impersonal. ‘Black Paintings’ could be made by a robot: all black and repetitive with totalitarian geometric shapes that lead you to perceive veiled symbols through the geometric game. This is present in the series A retórica do poder. If we look at ‘Deus aSSima de todos’ [God Above Everybody]*, you see a Maltese cross, it has a subliminal message that interests me and that seduces me- and that seduces the other”.
In Brazil aSSima de tudo [Brazil above all]**, a piece that does not participate in the exhibition, Cidade disposes of an empty Coca Cola bottle, a used Nike sneaker, a bayonet and a green military helmet, thus associating militarism and popular culture.
To visit the OVR, click here.