Exhibitionin Basel / Switzerland
Von Bartha presents an exhibition of works by the Venezuelan born artist Ricardo Alcaide, who lives and works in São Paolo. Commenting on the urban environment, through installations, wall and floor pieces, the exhibition marks the inaugural presentation at von Bartha’s newly renovated Basel space.
Working in an almost anthropological manner, Alcaide explores the relationship between modernism, architecture and economic precarity. Poetic yet political, his recent paintings, sculptures, large-scale installations and collages expose what is concealed or overlooked within urban situations – often through the exploration of built environments and discarded objects. Focussing on marginalised populations and places within the cityscape, Alcaide’s work comments on the miscalculated utopianism of Latin-American Modernism, and its aftermath.
For this exhibition, Alcaide turns his attention to the architecture of barriers and blockages, both visible in paintings and sculpture. A floor installation consisting of flat red bricks uniquely produced in Spain, creates an obstruction within the space and the exhibition itself. Another installation, formed of ubiquitous metal shelving, repurposes furniture as an artistic element. The artist then populates these ’empty’ architectural structures, playing with ideas of status and functionality.
Alcaide’s ‘panel paintings’ are fictional re-constructions of dismantled structures which reference wasted construction materials found within cityscapes. Rubbish and detritus are common motifs within Alcaide’s work – many of the pieces start from everyday encounters of discarded and useless materials, discovered around the rougher areas of São Paulo. The process of collecting and displaying rubbish for Alcaide is an intimate one, exploring touch and contact by creating skins – here with paint, but also sometimes with paper or bronze – and constructing objects through cutting and layering everyday materials. Highly physical to produce, the tactile panel works are created using polyurethane paint with a catalyser, resulting in a hard, super gloss finish. The resulting pieces deliberately display the marks of process, further exposing the input of the creator’s hand.
Furthermore, the exhibition at von Bartha will include a continuation of Alcaide’s “Rainbow Of Chaos” panel paintings. Inspired by the quote ‘We Live in The Rainbow Of Chaos’ from Paul Cézanne – these works exist in contrast to the monochrome of the earlier panel works. Alcaide sees the use of colour as indicative of social urbanism, linking colourful objects, particularly within Latin America, with lower socio-economic classes.
Ricardo Alcaide was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1967. Recent exhibitions include: “Down The Line”, Johannes Vogt gallery, New York; “Monochrome Undone”, SPACE, Sayago & Pardon Collection, Irvine, California; “Informal Order”, Projeto SITU, Galeria Leme, São Paulo; Bienal Tridimensional Internacional do Rio TRIO, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio; “Not Much Further”, Aroniz Arte Contemporáneo, México DF; “One Phenomenon Among Others”, Baró Galeria, São Paulo; “Concrete Fictions”, New Art Project gallery, London. His work is included in several collections around the world including Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Museo de Arte do Rio MAR, Rio de Janeiro, Sayago & Pardon Latin American Art Collection, Irvine, California and Zabludowicz Collection, London.
Gallery hours Tues-Fri 2 – 6 pm, Sat 11 am – 4 pm, and by appointment