‘TODOS OS OLHOS’
Galeria Millan presents, from October 17 to November 17, 2018, Todos os Olhos, the first solo exhibition by the artist José Bento at the gallery. The show occupies all the rooms of Anexo Millan and gathers a group of 15 sculptures and 2 photographs, all of them never exhibited before. reúne um conjunto de 15 esculturas e duas fotografias inéditas.
Since the late 1980’s, José Bento has been known for his interest in what is one of the most traditional means of plastic arts – the sculpture - and for one of its most typical materials - wood. These strategies, however, should not be taken too literally. Whether in the artistically crafted models or in the large monolithic sculptures, the means and materials that the artist used in these more than thirty-year career are more like tools of poetic experimentation and creation of worlds than a strictly formal statement or artisanal art. The work that gives the title to the exhibition, for example, is a series of ten bean-shaped wood carvings, each one of different weight, density and coloring, positioned in the main room of the Anexo Millan. The pieces represent some of the types of beans most consumed by Brazilians, such as black beans, Rioja beans, red, purple... All together, the weight of these pieces results in exactly 1.283 kg, which, according to Brazilian official statistics, is the average amount of beans that a Brazilian person consumes throughout his or her life. In the back of the room, behind the beans, a photograph: "Xangô" sees a voodoo priest holding a small "Tree" by José Bento at the foot of a statue of Xangô in Benin, Africa. Like the orixá that gives name to the work, the beans can also be seen as a symbol of justice, equality and strength.
In the hall of the Anexo Millan the highlight is the sculpture "Catadora", made of three large interconnected bamboo sieves, each 3.10 m in diameter. Near it is the "Coluna" sculpture, made with five overlapping metal sieves, each one accommodating a different level of redwood sawdust. As in "Catadora", "Coluna" evidences a work tool used for grain sorting - as well as beans – and also in José Bento's own office. In a wall in the same room, the "Oxumaré" photograph also turns to the Yoruba mythology, in which Oxumaré is represented by a serpent that embraces the world, a rainbow or the amniotic fluid of the human spine. Like the beans in the main room, they are works that refer to the ideas of abundance and sustenance but also to the complementary opposite of it: hunger, hard work, survival. Finally, in the smaller room of the Anexo - named by the artist as "The Crisis Room" -, are the works "Boca", "Assunto" and "Rolo", all in wood. "Boca" is a 2,20 m high and 1,20 m wide trapdoor, a human scale version of this type of trap for birds whose commercialization is prohibited in Brazil. "Assunto" and "Rolo", reproduce in wood, with exactitude of scale and details, two common objects in the house - specifically in the bathroom - of all Brazilians: a toilet seat and a toilet paper holder.
José Bento – Todos os Olhos
Rua Fradique Coutinho, 1416, Vila Madalena, São Paulo, SP
Tel.: (11) 3031-6007
Opening: October 17, 2018. Wednesday, from 7 to 10 pm
Visiting period: from October 18 to November 17, 2018
Tuesday to Friday, from 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday, from 11 am to 6 pm
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Tel.: (55 11) 3031-6007