‘Another Gesture’ presents four German and Brazilian female artists working in painting, drawing, and photography. The notion of “another gesture” suggests a two-fold approach: first, one that moves away from the dominant male legacy of abstract expressionism, in which gesture and opticality were used to champion purity and the uniqueness of painting as a medium.
The artists included in this show, working today, and in two differing hemispheres, either acknowledge or incorporate this past, but beyond that, they cling on to gesture, not only as a visual element, but as a conceptual vehicle for humor, for refusal, narrative, or memory. Second, within the word “another” there is a subtle play with the idea of being other to someone, a slight reference to the otherness that haunts historical relationships between Brazil and Germany.
These historical ties are mostly known in regard to colonial expeditions and German immigration to Brazilian territories: most famously, in 1557, the German explorer Hans Staden wrote about his capture by the Tupinambás and their cannibalism, a notion that would permeate, in the early 20th Century, Brazilian intellectuals’ idea of Anthropophagy, a time when Brazilian critic Oswald de Andrade famously said, “Only anthropophagy unite us.”
In the 19th Century, German traveling artists such John Moritz Rugendas and Eduard Hilderbrandt arrived in Brazil to depict its flora, fauna and native inhabitants. From the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th Century, German immigrants settled in cities all over Brazil, escaping war and poverty; many German artists had a fundamental participation in the first São Paulo Biennials. In the 21st Century, with the art world’s globalization, German and Brazilian art institutions have sought to shorten the geopolitical and invisible distances between the two countries.
“Although these historical ties do exist, in ‘Another Gesture’ we eschew them to tell yet these women artists’ stories: we interrupt this rigid transnational narrative to create alternative ones through the idea of “gesture” as a generative theme. “Another Gesture” thus become an openended, consciously ambiguous, and fluid space, in which these artists, from different backgrounds, can navigate”, describes the exhibition curators, Cynthia Cruz & Tatiane Santa Rosa.
For more information about the exhibition call (212) 255-6651.
When: August 3rd to 20th, 2017
Where: Artists in Residence Gallery (155 Plymouth St., Brooklyn, NY)