Eleonore Koch, "Park in the evening", 1969, tempera on canvas, 64 x 93 cm

Group show “Cinza das horas” addresses the notion of painting as the end and not just the means

(Brussels, Belgium)

Until February 25, Mendes Wood DM presents Cinza das horas, a group show organized by Lucas Arruda (b. 1983) that displays his work alongside paintings by fellow Brazilian artists Eleonore Koch (1926 – 2018), Fabio Miguez (b. 1962), and Paulo Pasta (b. 1959). The exhibition takes its title from a book of poems by the Brazilian author Manuel Bandeira, published in 1917.

The show aims to engage with the work of these artists through a different lens than usual. Rather than using the artists’ shared nationality and socio-cultural perspectives as the connective tissue, as can often be the case with Modern and contemporary Brazilian art, this exhibition instead addresses the notion of painting as the end and not just the means. The resulting work is removed from contemporaneity, from the day to day and from politics; this is painting made “pure”.

Despite profoundly different aesthetic outcomes, they are united by their research into the modulation of light, form and color, their obsessive refining of technique, and a deep understanding of both the material and meditative act of putting color to canvas, whether it be Arruda and Pasta’s preference for oil, Koch’s use of tempera, or Miguez’s combination of oil and wax. What these artists have is common is their engagement with the medium itself, with the painting as an object that exists independently in the world. A meditative quality, one of the fils rouges of the exhibition, comes across in different forms throughout the work of these four artists, but always seems to point towards a stillness, a kind of temporal suspension that makes these paintings exist somewhere outside of ordinary time.

Their painting is self-reflexive, rooted in the formal and compositional questions it poses itself, but is also firmly positioned in relation to art history. In terms of the South American canon, the pieces on show resonate particularly with Neo Concretism and the work of seminal painter Alfredo Volpi, who not only taught Koch to use tempera, but whose experiments with chromatic forms and color fields deeply influenced the work of Arruda, Miguez, and Pasta.

These artists are following a long tradition and adopting time-tested material techniques and conceptual approaches to address painterly questions that were as relevant then as they are now, and as timeless as these compositions, seascapes, and architectures appear to the viewer.

To read more about the exhibition, click here.

“Cinza das horas”, group show
From January 21 until February 25, 2023

Mendes Wood DM Brussels
13 Rue des Sablons / Zavelstraat 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tue – Sat, 11am – 7pm
T. +32 2 502 09 64


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