Welcome to Cristina Guerra Newsletter July 2016.



Cristina Guerra Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal

A forma do pensamento
Closing 30 July

Curator: Miguel von Hafe Pérez

"Transgenerational, international and one. There is no art without thought, and we cannot think about art without a comprehensive knowledge of the world of forms. In the space that lies between efficient functionality and pure conceptual speculation there are numerous modes of fulfilling the desire to creatively inscribe yourself in the world. Chronological, the first moment of this show is instrumental in an exercise that progressively unfolds the work of an artist who has always know how to differentiate and subvert as he travelled between the extreme we've mentioned in the last paragraph: Fernando Lanhas, artist, architect, researcher, and dreamer. (...)
Covering different historical, geographic and aesthetic realities, this exhibition reveals a concern that questions the capacity of gestures and representation to constitute themselves as the enunciations of the thought-of-another, precisely the one being offered to the spectator as a form of artistic thought. One in its proposal, this exhibition is based on a multiplicity of answers. It is in the speculative contamination of the voids that exist between these works of art that one can better learn the relevance of what we insist on calling art".
Miguel von Hafe Pérez

Museu Nacional Grão Vasco, Viseu, Portugal
DIOGO PIMENTÃO  Insignificantes 

Opening 1 July | Closing 28 Aug.

"The group of pieces I present in this project are part of a creative moment I've been delaying and, finally it will take shape in this exhibition. I face it as a parenthesis, not an isolating or informative one but, one of those that opens and unfolds a reality.
These works have a revelation method that refers almost to the beginning of photography, in the sense that, in a thin contact sheet a negative surface is printed. The process is simple: to reveal and accumulate the dust underneath the protection plastics of the studio's floor. This series refers to a real scale and not to an exterior and distant point of view of what was drawn.
These works are essentially made from contacts. The contact in this exhibition is present in the negative. The hidden surface is revealed, showing not what we are used to seeing on a sheet but, what touches the surface, usually hidden by touch and time.
I had to take a step back and assemble waste material from works I have developed in the past. To these waste, I added waste of more recent works. Scratches in the studio waiting to be erased or activated... I insisted on keeping these scratched and (un)significant surfaces because it was printed on them the peripatetic gesture of the production of the pieces. The majority of these works are works that define a temporality and a spatiality since its waste is of passing actions - spaces of absent pieces.
"Live the present", some would say. The present is only tangible in appearance; in reality is what is more unreal. The purity of the present lives in its impurities. If we would like reality to exist, we have to recreate it, constantly. Drawing is not about being limited to a "medium", to a framing; to draw is the infinitive of drawing. It is when once in the studio I can work the limits and borders of what was already projected". _ Diogo Pimentão, 2016
Diogo Pimentão was born and studied in Lisbon. He lived almost a decade in Paris and moved to London 4 years ago. London is where he lives and works. Pimentão is an artist particularly interested in drawing, a medium that he activates, enriching its status, enhancing our sensorial experience. The artist practice is shaped by his artistic experiments, working from simple materials of drawing, such as paper and graphite dust. In his apparently monochromatic pieces, the paper or wall surface is transformed into textures, extremely delicate and simultaneously strong and metallic. The artist allows the drawing technique to overcome its own contours opening up to multiple shapes and processes. Its production processes, truly fundamental actions of Diogo's practice, abolish the border between drawing, sculpture and performance.
Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris, France

Closing 17 July

Curator: Jan Dibbets
"In the course of photography's brief history, we can see how this diabolical, hybrid medium began to insist increasingly on its place in the arts, especially since the 1960s and the coming of Conceptualism."
The Musée d'Art Moderne has called on Jan Dibbets - whose own contribution to Conceptual art was decisive - for a reinterpretation of the history of photography from its invention up to the present day. Rejecting a conventional approach in what is his first venture into curating, Dibbets sets out to pursue the line he has been following since the 1960s, and which marked his exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne in 1980, 1994 and 2010.
Jan Dibbets has addressed this project radically. For him, the power of the photographic medium lies in its specific characteristics and technical possibilities, rather than in its content and subject matter. Breaking with the standard museum codes while adhering to a more or less chronological framework, the exhibition investigates the nature of the photograph in the digital age and photography's relationships with the visual arts.
(...) As an apologia for photography's reproducibility, the "Pandora's Box" the discipline represents for Dibbets is a recipe for total freedom: side by side he shows two similar images, or a positive and its negative, or a copy of a famous work made by a later photographer. The high point of the exhibition is a selection of photographs by contemporary artists _ among them John Baldessari, Thomas Ruff, Bruce Nauman, ... _ whose recourse to digital technology compels an extension of the concept of what Markus Kramer calls the "photographic object".
Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia
JULIÃO SARMENTO   As Good as It Gets

Opening 15 July

Curator: João Silvério
"Thirty-six years after having been presented - for the first and only time - to the audience of Zagreb at the Gallery of Contemporary Art on the occasion of the exhibition "1947", Julião Sarmento will exhibit in Zagreb once more at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the exhibition "As Good As It Gets" authored by curator João Silvério. Following the guest appearance in Split, the artist will present himself to the audience of Zagreb with the exhibition where he will exhibit works realised in different media: drawing, sculpture, photography, painting, and video.
When I contemplate Sarmento's work while reviewing his artistic oeuvre-to-date, the first thing I notice is the atmosphere of intimacy that is present in nearly all of his works regardless of the media that is being used. Sarmento's main focus of interest is the body, female body, fragments of the body, which he brings into correlation with elements taken from other media (literature, film), and it is through these correlations of various motifs that he creates a mysterious atmosphere charged with magnetism. By using the atmosphere of mystery propelled by the positioning and displaying of the naked female body parts of it, the artist introduces the spectator to his own intimate world. In our minds, the artwork becomes the place in which both space and time are merged, which we revive by using our own sensibility in creating the intimate history of an individual.
It is interesting that the notion of 'place' is also the main element in Julião Sarmento's installation '1947' that was presented, we dare say, back in 1980, Julião Sarmento continually underlined the importance of individual and collective memory, of personal intimacy that simultaneously becomes part of collective history. The artwork becomes the meeting place of artist and spectator, the result of creative sensibility, the new objective reality."
Martina Munivrana (Curator Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum)
"(...) Let us consider the piece after which the exhibition was named. In it, we identify the blueprint of a house that has been partially erased, or obnubilated, to use a previously employed term. Then, there are the connected arms, fragments from absent bodies, the actions of which range from the union of these same bodies to the violent penetration of the wrist's fold. Nothing is missing from the depiction of these figures, and we are in no way asked to reconstruct them visually, not even by one last appeal to our memory. (...) Perhaps the most appropriate term is replication, considering how shapes, movements, words, actions, and images are in transit between works and media, reconnecting historic moments, imaginary times or stories from literature and film that, though repeated across various phases in his work, present us with new issues, as they dialogue across the internal structure of his vast body of work, confronting us whenever we contemplate it.
One piece, part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Zagreb, exemplarily illustrates how Sarmento operates on memory via the succession of actions that make up this work. The piece's title is itself a clue: "Stigmate" (1979), a word that conveys to us a transformative action, a dysfunctionality or the coercion of a group or an individual. The work consists of two photography/text sets, composed of four black-and-white photographs: two urban views alongside two photos of someone's back with marks made by hand, and drawings on the wall. (...) Here we have a work that was already shown in other exhibitions and returns here as a recontextualization rather than a simple repetition. In this geography, all images are unique, and their verisimilitude in a context of apparent repetition acknowledges our perpetual need to negate change, sometimes contradictorily so, because the same image is already a memory of itself by the time we look at it again."
João Silvério (Curator of the exhibition)
CAS - Sines Art Centre, Sines, Portugal

Travessa da Ermida a Sul

Opening 16 July | Closing 6 Nov.

Curator: Catarina da Ponte
The exhibition "Travessa da Ermida a Sul" happens on the occasion of the 19th edition of the "Contemporary Art Summer". The project Travessa da Ermida, in Belém, will travel from Lisbon to the Sines Art Centre - the most south point it has ever been - to present a selection of 30 pieces that were exhibited at Ermida Nossa Senhora da Conceição during these last eight years.
The exhibition "Travessa da Ermida a Sul" will present works by João Louro, Julião Sarmento, Rui Toscano, among other artists. The pieces presented aim to give a vision of what has been the contemporary artistic production in the national context through the activity developed around the Travessa da Ermida.
According to curator Catarina da Ponte, "this exhibition is not a retrospective, but a presentation of a narrative which reveals themes and common reflexions to some artists that have presented their work in the Ermida throughout these last eight years". The exhibition is structured around five different smaller exhibitions: Dialectics, Interior, Time, Vicente and Editions.
On the opening day, a catalogue will be launched with the title "O Arco da Ermida". This book is the result of the photographic evidence of the 50 contemporary art pieces that the XVI century arch of the small hermitage sheltered throughout the duration of this space programme.
Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Foundation , Lisbon, Portugal
MICHAEL BIBERSTEIN   Estudos para um Céu

Opening 17 July | Closing 11 Sep.

Michael Biberstein leaves unfinished a project he had been developing during the last four years of his life: a sky with 900m2 to the ceiling of Santa Isabel Church (1742), in Lisbon, upon his sudden death in May 2013. An artistic committee was then created with the aim to accomplish this project, once called 'Mike's Sky'. Thankfully to Bibertein's family engagement in this cause, and Appleton & Domingos Architects studio, and the support of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon and Jeanne Bucher Jaeger Gallery in Paris, and to several donations from international patrons and the collaboration of Factum Arte, 'Mike's Sky' can finally inaugurate in Lisbon, the 19th July 2016. Simultaneously to this opening at Santa Isabel Church, the Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Foundation, in collaboration with Jeanne Bucher Jaeger Gallery, organized an exhibition entitled 'Studies for a Sky', where the studies made by the artist will be revealed, including his sketches on paper and a model of the Church interior scale 1:75, executed by Appleton e Domingos Architects studio.
'O Meu Amigo Mike ao Trabalho'
The projection of the film with the painter Michael Biberstein, directed by Fernando Lopes 'My Friend Mike Working" has a character of an homage to Biberstein (1948-2013). Produced by Midas Filmes in 2008, 'O Meu Amigo Mike ao Trabalho' is one of the last movies directed by Fernando Lopes and it was filmed in Biberstein's studio Alandroal. The painter was a Portuguese resident since the 70s. The movie projection will happen every sAturday and Sunday at 4pm in the Auditorium of the Foundation.
Church Santa Isabel, Lisbon, Portugal
MICHAEL BIBERSTEIN   Um Céu para Santa Isabel

Inauguration 19 July

The Parish of Santa Isabel, in Lisbon, has the pleasure to communicate that the official inauguration of the painting on the ceiling of the parochial church, according to the project of the artist Michael Biberstein. The inauguration will take place the 19th July 2016 at 5.30pm, with a ceremony presided by His Eminence the Patriarchal Cardinal of Lisbon, D. Manuel Clemente, at 7pm.
"Um Céu para Santa Isabel" happened has an invitation made by the local priest to the artist Michael Biberstein by the suggestion of the architecture studio Appleton & Domingos, in Octobre 2009. the model of the project was presented for the first time at Appleton Square, on the occasion of the Architecture Triennale 2010. The project got everyone's interest so fundraising to its completion happened very naturally. On that stage, and grateful to several supports, highlighting BES and BPI, it was possible to initiate the project with the engagement of the conservation company Noa and the engineer office A2P, that guaranteed the required technical support in the fields of conservation and structures, and the support from Michael Biberstein's gallery in Lisbon: Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art.
Following Bibertein's sudden death in 2013, just a few months prior the ceiling painting was scheduled to begin, Ana Nobre de Gusmão, widow of the artist, and all those already involved in the project decided to give it continuity and established that the ceiling should be painted according to the original model. To proceed with the execution project from its original model, the team was enlarged, with the participation of the artist Julião Sarmento, the curator Delfim Sardo, Jeanne Bucher-Jaeger Gallery in Paris and Factum Art Foundation.
"The Church of Santa Isabel, in Santa Isabel' neighborhood in Lisbon, is like a precious stone kept inside a dark box with a dark gray cover. The light that enters through the windows is largely absorbed by the black ceiling, making the space visually very heavy, not allowing it to breathe and to visually develop the desired volume perception. Indeed, the first impression that the visitor has is a little depressing - undoubtedly the opposite of what one would desire (...). My goal is to complete the original intention of the architectural project, replacing the suffocating gray ceiling by an open sky. The Church space will become welcoming and strong and more appealing to meditation practice. Instead of the present gray and cold cover, it will have a wonderful opening to a cosmic sky. The colours of the ceiling will echo and complete the ones used in the walls and will continue to open up to cooler and warmer colours, maybe like a happy return to an indigo blue to a dive in deep space." _ Michael Biberstein

Caption: Rui Silvério da Luz
Townhall Galleries Matosinhos , Porto, Portugal
JULIÃO SARMENTO   No Fio da Respiração

Opening 22 July | Closing 15 Oct.

Curator: Miguel von Hafe Pérez
This anthological exhibition by Julião Sarmento will be curated by Miguel von Hafe Perez.
The exhibition will present several works, from painting, sculpture, installation and drawing.
University of Toronto Arts Centre, Toronto, Canada

Counterpoints: Photography through the lens of Toronto

Closing 30 July

Curator: Jessica Bradley
The Art Museum is proud to present Counterpoints, a major exhibition that reveals the remarkable breadth and depth of interest in photography in the city of Toronto. The exhibition has evolved through the generosity of passionately committed collectors who granted the loan of their works, allowing them to be seen by the public - many for the first time in Toronto. Highlighting a broad spectrum of private collections, Counterpoints proposes an experience of looking at photography that is ultimately heterogeneous and non-linear. Spanning nearly two centuries, the exhibition comprises 19th-century singular images captured on metal and glass plates, through to artists' work that acknowledges photography's endlessly reproducible, ubiquitous presence in a vast and ephemeral digital world.
The exhibition presents work by artist Jonathan Monk, Stan Douglas, William Eggleston, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Ed Ruscha, among others.
Landesmuseum , Niederosterreich, Austria

Leopold Kogler-Quell. Eine Retrospektive | Erwin Wurm-Ende

Closing 31 July

Curator: Carl Aigner
Since the 70s both Leopold Kogler and Erwin Wurm have been linked by their studies under Bazon Brock and Oswald Oberhuber at the University of Applied Arts. While Kogler's artistic beginnings were in the field of "art without artists" as well as in an (almost Dadaist) object art, Wurm was mainly interested in "new young and wild" painting in the field of tension between the object and the picture. While Kogler found his way to painting in the course of the 80s and is currently dedicated to meticulous art prints, Wurm's "dust sculptures" radicalised the term of plastic art and the sculptural. In his subsequent works, the same questions of an object, space, volume, and picture are still virulently present, whether in his photographic, performative "One-Minute-Sculptures", his "Fast Cars" or in his deformative-minimalising architectures and everyday objects, with which he became world-famous.
For both artists it is the first exhibition in the Landesmuseum Niederosterreich - Leopold Kogler presents a retrospective of his work, Erwin Wurm shows new, radical works. At the same time, this is the last art exhibition in the Landesmuseum Niederosrterreich before this area becomes the "House of History in Lower Austria".

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Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art · Rua Santo António à Estrela, 33 · Lisbon 1350-291 · Portugal