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A partida de Agnes, 2020, Oil on linen
Cercado, 2021, Oil on terracotta ceramic
Três árvores, 2021, Oil on canvas
Céu para Pedro, 2021, Oil on terracotta ceramic
Photo: Bruno Leão
David Almeida
Photo: Bruno Leão
Photo: Bruno Leão

Press Release

Galeria Millan is proud to present Arriba do chão, the first solo exhibition from David Almeida (Brasília, DF, 1989) in the gallery exhibition space from the 22nd of January to the 19th of February, 2022. Opening the program for 2022, the exhibition curated by Pollyana Quintella brings together small and large format paintings and ceramics recently produced by the artist. The solo show will also be accompanied by a publication to be launched on the occasion of the opening and containing the complete curatorial text in dialogue with a selection of the works on display.

David Almeida’s research adopts as its principle theme the problematics of the space and the body in transit, exploring the visuality of intimate territory, the city and the regional landscape of Brazil. Almeida engenders the concepts of memory, body, the phantasmagorical, and optical perception, creating canvases in which the intimacy of a culture or people is subtly presented by the landscape.

In his first solo exhibition at Galeria Millan, Almeida presents his research in painting along a diverse range of trajectories: canvases in large and small formats, in materials such as linen, cotton and wood, as well as engravings and ceramics, expressing a continuous investigation of reliefs and chromatic combinations. The production process behind these works takes place within and outside of the studio, portraying a memory of landscapes that blend places such as Ubatuba, Cidade Tiradentes, Chapada dos Veadeiros and the hues of the cerrado and the Contagem Biological Reserve, in conjunction with an almost oneiric visual creation not necessarily drawn from observation.

For Quintella, “when faced with this arrangement, it becomes almost impossible to distinguish what was produced in open air and what was developed in the studio, and this is of little interest. In other cases, such as in the paintings prepared with gilder’s clay base, the redness and the soaring temperatures of the cerrado, the sertão of Ceará and the ruggedness of the agreste (woven into the artist’s imagination due to family ties with the region), encounter echoes of Courbet in the caves of Franche-Comté and the beaches of Normandy.”

If the smaller paintings engage with the texture and bold colors of these natural landscapes, then the paintings in large formats carry within them, according to the curator, a more metaphysical and spiritual aspect, and don’t in fact position themselves in a fixed time and space. Within these works the immateriality of the locations Almeida portrays reaches its most expressive character, in consonance with and unfolding through the practice of a generation of painters responsible for an inflection in the pictorial investigation of landscape in Brazil.

As a counterpoint, in the ceramics presented here Almeida is directly focused on the material itself, which at once becomes representation and subject, giving body not only to the landscape, but to its base material: the earth.

 

Curatorial statement by Pollyana Quintella