Artwork by Antonio Obá

Antonio Obá presents new drawings that rework imagery in his solo show “Erase the Silence”

(New York, USA)
On Saturday, April 27, Archipelago opens Erase the Silence, an exhibition comprised of new drawings by the Brazilian artist Antonio Obá. He investigates the influence and contradictions within the cultural construction of Brazil, giving rise to an act of resistance and reflection on the idea of national identity.
Read below an excerpt from the exhibition’s text:
“Within Obá’s artistic practice, the act of drawing is grounded in the realm of intuition. The artist, as if compelled by a wistful desire for form, moves from the expanded plane of the canvas to a place he describes as ‘rest’. Drawing emerges as an instinctive process, where a sequence of figures enact and dictate the work’s narrative. Paper becomes a cradle for the exquisite details present across the surface of his paintings, refiguring the practice of his research, making space for delicate symbolism.
[…] The artist’s devotion to form paves the way for liberation from historical bonds. Obá reworks imagery from anthropological encyclopedias that we now understand are records of ethnographic prejudice. The artist creates a new index of images that redress a historiography of failures. The nobility of the pietà; the warrior boy at attention, his gaze fixed upon the viewer; and many other details present a changed narrative where he, the figure of the savior or warrior, refuses to uphold the burdens which would historically be placed upon him. Serene, the figure can return to elements which have already lived in the lexicon of Obá, now able to embody a history that has been denied for so long.
In Erase the Silence, Antonio Obá celebrates his heroes and brings to light archetypes once informed by false objectivity. The artist’s deep imaginary gently reveals understandings lost by the prejudiced gaze. The images come from a narrative that reconfigures and transcends the canonical order and we are faced with a plot that makes them proponents of their own story, moving them away from the insidious terrain of sorrow and uncertainty. Through this process, there is no space for anything that is not impelled in the most honorable way through a search of form.”
Read the complete text here and watch here a video of Obá talking about his practice and his artworks.
Archipelago is an arts-and-research institute devoted to spirituality, thinking, and healing. At a constellation of sites across the globe, hosting exhibitions, artists’ residencies, and a growing research library.

Antonio Obá, “Encanteria I”, 2023, charcoal on paper, 32 x 24 cm

“Erase the Silence”, solo show by Antonio Obá
From April 27 until June 2nd, 2024
Archipelago
10 Church Avenue, Germantown, New York, USA
Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 4 pm

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