REVERSE is pleased to present CIUDAD SAUDADE, Architectures of Memory
Saudade: a feeling or longing for something that one is fond of. Something that is gone,
but might return in a distant future.
CIUDAD SAUDADE will open on March 9th from 7pm-10pm. Featuring work by: Christian Berman, Echo Eggebrecht, Ted Gahl, Rubens Ghenov, Laini Nemett, Kanishka Raja, Lumin Wakoa, Aaron Wexler, the exhibition will be on view through March 9th – 31st
Objects determine the spatial dimension of the world, and therefore its knowledge and usability to us. Buildings, trees, mountains, etc.- these references transform our experience of remembrance. Slowly, we develop a unique dialog with the multiplicity of objects that surround us, and the external landscape, whether it is constructed or natural, becomes a part of our personal language. Like the feeling of Saudade,
the spaces and objects that we inhabit and possess become a constant presence in the realms of emotion and consciousness. Our longing for these architectures results in their eventual reassembling within our own minds, and subsequently informs the objects and relationships that we go on to create.
Cuarted by Christian Berman, the work of this group of painters is a testament to a profound and thoughtful relationship with the outside world. The artists use precision and spatial understanding as means of access into their own inventiveness and emotion. Memory, longing, hope, and desire are traced by the architecture of each painter’s experience. These elements, deeply personal and at once universal, are made unique and relevant by the disparate styles, treatments of color and form, and moments of improvisation. These works have more than a touch of magical-realism. Life, nature, and imagination shift the architectural landscape, imbuing the concrete with the intangible presence of time.
As an immigrant from Brazil, Rubens Ghenov has become accustomed to localizing the past and the present in a precarious juncture of fact, memory and fiction. Aaron Wexler works with different representations of abstraction in nature and architecture. The selection process of shapes, images and paint is grounded in poetic responses to formal elements. In Kanishka Raja’s depicted realms, his work interlocks in a complex visual field. Inspired by Italian 15th Century “Ideal City” paintings that proposed model urban landscapes and demonstrated the principles of perspective. Lumin Wakoa is interested in the disorientation that comes from shifts in scale and materiality, and the relationship between fragments and a whole. Christian Berman’s work uses subtle manipulations of perspective, pattern, and color, constructs imagined places, places that are often reminiscent of digital worlds. Laini Nemett works with fragments of interior and exterior spaces she has passed through. The paintings are inherently representational, yet they confuse our common understanding of spatial sense by altering perspectival and structural logic. Ted Gahl makes highly autobiographical and lyrical paintings that also converse with the history of painting and civilization. Echo Eggebrecht’s oil-on-panel works juxtapose folky charm, exquisite decorative detail, and lush patterns with broad swaths of flat color.
Beauty can exist in the undetermined, the multiple, the incomplete- but lasting and meaningful connection is obtainable only through precision and care. Painting allows us to literally and figuratively create both walls and windows, and it is often in confronting our architectural histories that we make way for universal meaningfulness. These are artists that unquestionably speak their own language, but an honest and deliberate inclusion of remembered spaces is precisely what allows for the viewers’ imagination and emotion to converse and travel beyond the edges of the canvas. Whimsical shape invention and color play may have immediate appeal, but in many ways, these explorations become quite mechanical, and don’t take to the truth. Between abundance and silence, memory and imagination, there exists a tense and vibrating relationship, and the concrete idea lies in the balance of these disparate forces.