(this page was last updated in July 2016)
Caetanópolis, Brazil, 1948.
Lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Represented by Mendes Wood DM.
PIPA 2012 and 2016 nominee.
Sonia Gomes makes sculptures in cloth and wire, eclectic fabric contortions that evokes simultaneously the idea of viscera and the sacred object. She follows the fault lines of affect or memory making and revealing arrangements intuitively. In their sheer candor, her sculptures become impressively expressionistic; seemingly free to do what they like. Skin is important within the body of Gomes’ work. The organ of sensuous contact with the world, it at once defines and limits experience. Cloth is a second skin, and a sense of personal history permeates her fabric sculptures. A believer in the élan vitale, she trusts that every material is magnetized with the latency of life.
Recent group exhibitions: “Histórias/Histories: Contemporary Art From Brazil”, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Florida, USA, 2016; No Man’s Land: Women Artists From The Rubell Family Collection”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, EUA, 2015; “All the World’s Futures”, 56 Biennale di Venezia, Venezia, Italy, 2014; “19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Video Brasil: Southern Panoramas”, Associação Cultural Video Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2014; “The Poetry in Between: South to South”, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, 2014.
Born in Caetanópolis, in the state of Minas Gerais, to a black mother and white father, Sonia Gomes is also a fusion of recollections. Sonia brought the strong influence of her maternal grandmother, a midwife, blessing woman and wearer of head cloth rolls, used to carry water cans on the head. From her white father’s family, Sonia inherited the rumination of kept objects, photographs, fabric patches which would come from factories, fragmented affections.
Sonia makes art to express herself and has the idea that everything that has passed can be brought back to life again. Between the popular and the erudite, the world of this artist from Minas Gerais reminds us of the strong Brazilian tradition of turning unstable and difficult materials into a stable, permanent and form of art. The contemporary nature of these ideas appears in an extremely original composition made from collages in which the artist makes intelligent use of her great talent.
– Panoramas do Sul, Guest Artists – Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_VideoBrasil
– “7 Artists on Being In the Rubell Family Collection’s All-Female Show, ‘No Man’s Land’ “– Artnet News, 2015
– “Afeto Construído”, O Globo newspaper, 2015
Visual Arts, Guignard School
Contemporary Art Teacher: Ronan Couto (UEMG), Brazil
Contemporary Art Teacher: Angelica Melendi (Pitt) (UEMG), Brazil
Creativity, Teacher: Sara Avila (UEMG), Brazil
-“Nascer Uma Vez Após a Outra”, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
-“Stitch In Time”, Mendes Wood DM, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“O ritmo da linha”, Espaço cultural Fórum Lafayette, Lafayette, Brazil
-“Quando a linha cria asas…”, Art Gallery of CEMIG, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-“Um Lugar”, BDMG Cultural, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-“Serie Patuás e Torções”, Galeria Thomas Cohn, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“Objetos”, Sandra & Marcio, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-“Pinturas”, Casa de Cultura de Sete Lagoas, Brazil
-“Histórias/Histories: Contemporary Art From Brazil”, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Florida, USA
-“No Man’s Land: Women Artists From The Rubell Family Collection”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, EUA
-“All the World’s Futures”, 56 Biennale di Venezia, Venezia, Italy
-“19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Video Brasil: Southern Panoramas”, Associação Cultural Video Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“The Poetry in Between: South to South”, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
-“Made By…Feito por Brasileiros”, Cidade Matarazzo, São Paulo, Brazil
-“A Nova Mão Afro-Brasileira”, Museu Afro Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“Art & Textiles – Fabric as Material and Concet in Modern Art”, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
-“Out of Fashion. Textile in International Contemporary Art”, Kunsten – Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark
-“Alphabet of The Magi”, Mendes Wood DM, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“Meditation Trance”, Mendes Wood DM, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“Mostra dos Alunos da Escola Guignard”, Câmara Municipal, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-“Impulsos”, Galeria Emma Thomas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“Oferenda”, Galeria Rhys Mendes, Jardim Canadá, Brazil
-“Ressonâncias@rtesnegr(as)”, Centro de Artes e Convenções de UFOP, Ouro Preto, Brazil
2006 – 2007
-“Brasil Imaginário”, Estação São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2006 – 2007
-“Etsuko Kobayashi et Sonia Gomes”, Edgard Gallery, Paris, France
-X Bienal Nacional de Santos, Santos, Brazil
-“Encontro com a Arte”, XLVII Encontro do BID, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-“Chita Bacana”, SESC Belenzinho, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-“Mostra Fim de Ano”, Celma Albuquerque Gallery, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
1998 – 1999
-III e IV Mostra da Escola Guignard, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-“Processos Tridimensionais”, Casa da Saudade, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-V Salão de Artes Plásticas de Vespasiano, Brasil
-“Expressões de Minas”, Casa de Minas, São Paulo, Brazil
1996 – 1997
-I Mostra Alunos Escola Guignard, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
-MAR – Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
-Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA
-Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil
- Group show presents four Brazilian artists
- 'Garden of time: textiles of nature poem': see the MWDM's online exhibition
- Cages and freedom: visit Sonia Gomes' solo online exhibition "Life Doesn't Frighten Me"
- "Enormousballs" questions collective and individual livings
- Sonia Gomes presents first solo exhibition outside Brazil
- “Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia” traces Brazil's pluralist history
- “Natura Naturans” features 12 artists
- Ordinary materials become lyric sculptures in "Everyday Poetics"
- Group exhibition presents the works of contemporary women sculptors and photo-based artists
- Sonia Gomes shares exhibition with iconic artist A. R. Penck in New York