OPENING ON 05 OCTOBER
BREEZE Inaugural Exhibition to Showcase
Rising Name of Brazilian Figurative Painting
As announced in April, the BREZE panel of curators sifted through nearly two dozen projects submitted by galleries during a call open from October 2022 until January 2023, ultimately selecting a solo show by Osvaldo Carvalho as the winning proposal. Represented by Janaína Torres Galeria, Carvalho is São Paulo-based, Rio de Janeiro-born artist, who frequently delves into imagery from mass culture, advertising, household objects, interior spaces, and urban landscapes, using bold colours to scrutinise power dynamics.Osvaldo de Carvalho, whose solo show was chosen to launch the Embassy of Brazil’s contemporary art programme, employs vibrant colours to convey an acute social commentary.
Osvaldo Carvalho's artistic construction includes the use of canvases that deliberately deviate from traditional square dimensions, figures with intentionally skewed proportions for compositional balance, and colour palettes that, within the framework of classical painting, may be considered unconventional.
With a finger on the pulse of current societal issues that go far beyond the Brazilian reality, the concise yet striking selection proposed for Breeze’s inaugural exhibition communicates a sociological reflection by Carvalho. In his words, "false symmetry can represent the erroneous notion that actions carried out by agents from varying social strata, genders, races, or economic standings would yield the same outcomes." As a series, False Symmetry is described by curator Cadu Gonçalves as tackling "the many consequences of more than 500 years of unilateral progress based on genocide and the expropriation of land […] as an entity constantly forced to absorb, the blood of its sons and daughters, whose bodies are not included in countless ecological treatises and discussions [...]".
Carvalho describes his artistic interest as socially concerned from its very beginning. As a 6th grader, he delivered an art class assignment by thematising unrealistic expectations of major achievements based solely on individual effort. Despite not receiving high marks for the impressive precociousness of his ideas and their boldly conceptual materialisation, his urge to analyse society through art remained steadfast throughout his life.That urge led him to pursue artistic studies at EAV- Parque Lage (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Museu do Ingá (Niterói, Brazil), and obtain a master’s degree in Visual Poetics.
“For me, becoming an artist has been, and still is, an inevitable call,” declares Carvalho. In relation to the issues addressed in the False Symmetry series, he posits that “each person has a very different point of departure in life, whether as a woman, as a racialised and/or LGBTQ+ individual; there is a whole array of people and communities who are inherently excluded and do not have the same starting point as others. The sooner we critically address this myth, the sooner we tackle those false symmetries, the sooner we can reach common ground as a society. Until then, we are nothing but upholding privileges that are ultimately so damaging.”
Born in 1966, Carvalho holds a Master's degree in Visual Poetics from the University of São Paulo. Beyond his most recognisable output as a painter, Carvalho's practice encompasses drawing, sculpture, photography, and video. Having been previously exhibited in countries including France, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Colombia, and Brazil, his work is held in art collections such as MARGS (Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul), the National Library of Rio de Janeiro, and the SESC Amapá Collection.
OSVALDO CARVALHO: FALSE SYMMETRY
5 – 29 OCTOBER >>> Monday – Friday >>> 10 am to 6 pm >>> Free admission
SALA BRASIL >>> 14-16 Cockspur St >>> London SW1Y 5BL
BREEZE 2022/23 ANNOUNCES
THE WINNING PROPOSAL
During the open call, ran from October 2022 to January 2023, the organisers received dozens of queries and applications, from galleries and artists from Brazil, the UK and other countries.
A distinguished jury of renowned specialists, from various backgrounds and diverse spheres in the professional art world – ranging from a cultural foundation to a leading art magazine, from charitable and educational initiatives to major international museums and heritage-focused organisations – has selected the winning application (more about the curating committee below).
Having reviewed proposals of the highest standing, we are pleased to announce that the selected project is False Symmetry, a solo show by Osvaldo Carvalho, represented by Janaina Torres Galeria. Combining his most recent work with select pieces from his award-winning exhibition Promising Land (2011-2017), Osvaldo Crvalho’s False Symmetry lays bare the social and environmental impacts of human actions, and the role the asymmetry of power relations play in this process.
THE CURATORIAL COMMITTEE STATEMENT
Osvaldo Carvalho’s False Symmetry series is more than pertinent to contemporary Brazil – as well as to current international debates. With lyrical storytelling, bold use of saturated colours and innovative compositions, his work is provocative and critical without falling into the trap of political literality. The large-scale paintings capture everyday life in the streets of Rio de Janeiro’s periphery, yet their subject matter is anything but peripheral. Often sub-sectioned into different views, angles and sequential time-lapses, they attest the local impact of global phenomena, from the pandemic to the climate crisis. Carvalho is as much at ease in responding to social commentary expressed through graffiti, as he is in making ironic references to the art historical canon. Such is the case of the anamorphic skull that can be seen in the lower register of The Negationists (2021): unlike Holbein’s famous painting that reminds the viewer that even esteemed emissaries are mere mortals, Carvalho’s picture invokes the dire consequences of conspiracy theories and other far-fetched polemics that have proliferated in recent years. His poetic portrayal of the reality of life in Brazil will be a counterpoint to the cacophony of Frieze week. In addition, it is a call to arms and a reminder that social justice is racial justice is climate justice. And that we are better when we work together to address these global challenges.
Black Skin, White Mask (2020)
Acrylic on canvas. 170x190cm
Um defeito de cor (2020)
Acrylic on canvas. 191x186cm
The Negationists (2021)
Acrylic on canvas. 188x192cm