Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum announces Barrao Mashups

. January 28, 2012 . 0 Comments

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum presents Barrao Mashups open January 29 to June 10, 2012.

Brazilian artist Barrão is best known for his whimsical and rather bizarre clusters and mashups made from fragments of popular vitreous porcelain and ceramic objects. The artist gathers the ubiquitous pottery and ornaments, which were once commonly cherished in most Brazilian households, by scouting the second-hand stores, flea markets, and dumpsters of Rio de Janeiro. Once he has acquired enough materials, he sorts and classifies the ceramics again and again in his studio, separating them by size, color, function, vessel, or type of ornament. The collections Barrão builds through this process have their ultimate manifestation in the form of sculptures, each of which is a mini-collection, a vibrant extrusion of explosive visual and tactile qualities.

The sculptures present all the free-flowing associations he finds between the specifically collected and collaged items. Even if the sculptures are dense and charged with multiple relationships, we are, nonetheless, able to follow his juxtapositions with delight, since they are funny and incredibly accessible. They are also a testament to the transparency of the media: Barrão makes the manner in which each ceramic fragment articulates with the other plainly evident. His appreciation for the obvious seams points towards a constructive structure that allows us to recognize the individuality of each different fragment, even as he unites them in a single entity. These seams, which permit contradictions to co-exist, are a significant aspect of the work. The journey of the lines as they curve tightly, intersect, envelop, keep flowing, bifurcate, and perhaps even penetrate the piece, echoes a convoluted path of life.

Ultimately, by utilizing the different ceramic sources and establishing new sets of relationships between the parts, these sculptures present a new landscape with infinite possibilities. Every element in the sculptures is freed from its previous function and comes together with the other parts to form a new identity, one that escapes immediate commodification. Barrão appropriates everyday domestic objects for his works and inserts them back into circulation with an ample balance of presence and mystery; they suggest a combination of limitless potential: from the outside in and from the inside out.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06854

Category: Fine Art

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