Nara Roesler is pleased to announce ‘Amelia Toledo: 1958-2007’, the artist’s inaugural solo exhibition in the United States, at the gallery’s new location in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, from February 25th to April 17th, 2021.
Amelia Toledo (1926-2017) is a leading figure of Brazilian art in the 20th cen-tury, with a career spanning over five decades. Toledo was first introduced to the field of visual arts at the end of the 1930s as she began frequenting the studio of Brazilian modernist landmark artist Anita Malfatti, after which she studied with Yoshiya Takaoka and Waldemar da Costa.
Throughout her career, Toledo made use of several media and techniques, including painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making, installations, and metalsmith/jewelry design, always focusing on the use of materials and faktura. Her work was initially aligned with constructivist research, echoing notions of Neoconcretism and the characteristic preoccupations of the 1960s, with an interest for public participation, as well as for the entwinement of art and life. She developed her multifaceted oeuvre in permanent and mutually enriching inter-locution with other artists of her generation including Mira Schendel, with an iconic career marked by entwinements between art and nature, a selection of Toledo’s works will be exhibited for the first time in the united states at Nara Roesler new gallery in Chelsea, New York Amelia Toledo press release Tomie Ohtake, Hé-lio Oiticica and Lygia Pape.
Ultimately, Toledo’s signature achievements are driven by her focus on nature, implying her investigations on the concept of landscape, engaging with stones and shells, among other natural elements, which she collected compulsively and included in her work. Challenged by these materials, Amelia Toledo pursued her career as both an artist and an engineer.
In works like Path of Colors from the Dark (2001), for example, the artist uses stones to investigate color, brightness, transparency, and the various shapes of the Earth’s “flesh”. She was able to create compositions in which pieces collected from the dark depths of natural settings are placed in various arrangements, including dialogues with “modern” materials, such as stainless steel. The rocks were not subject to any treatment that would change their original form, but were merely polished to reveal their internal designs, revealing their temporality.
Another central pillar of Toledo’s work is color, an interest that is notably manifest in her paintings, among other works.
Paintings from the series Horizons will be on view at Nara Roesler – New York along with Campos de Cor, a series which the artist began in the 1980s and continued until right before her death in 2017.
Also from her early works, the exhibition presents some of the collages that Amelia Toledo started in 1958, while she was living in London. Amelia Toledo allowed herself the freedom to never be part of a group, and to experiment according to her own moment.
In the artist’s words: “It’s not even just a question of different processes; each material constructs itself, proposes itself in the form of certain consequences”. Her production resonates today more than ever through her continuous articulation of aesthetics and nature, ecology and form, stressing both the sophistication of design and the roughness of matter/materials.