REMNANTS | Fernando Ferreira de Araujo

Tim Lopreste
Apr 10, 2014 10:12PM

The upcoming solo show at Gabinete D, a mainstream art gallery in Sao Paulo - Brazil, features the work of the Brazilian Abstract-expressionist artist Fernando Ferreira de Araujo, who was listed, in 2010, by Vogue Magazine and BrazilFoundation as one of the 100 Most Influential Brazilians in NY – where he lived for almost 8 years.

He began his career in 1989 when two of his paintings were chosen by the Contemporary Art Museum of Pernambuco for that year Art Saloon. That was the key to a further solid career path. In 2001 he started to work full time as a professional artist. 2003 was another catalyst year, a time when Ferreira de Araujo joined the international art scene, participating in several solo and group exhibitions, as well as auctions in the United States and Europe. Shortly after, New York became home and once he became a member of The Art Students League of NY he settled into his own art studio in Manhattan.

This body of work, ‘Remnants’, is a two-year working process (2012-2014) which is influenced by an art project he experienced ten years ago, while living in New York. Ferreira de Araujo strongly believes one’s history can be told by his or her waste, almost as an anthropological, as well as sociological, way. At that time he aimed at portraying the various boroughs in New York through their inhabitants’ recycling waste – while exposing their cultural background and life style. For this current body of work, he refers to his own history while collecting residual matters as medium to create multi-textured layers. This mixed media series - entirely on paper, 100% cotton - doesn’t reference recognisable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted.

By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, he creates intense personal moments masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles. His works directly respond to his surrounding environment and uses his everyday experiences as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. However, each bit has its influence and impact on the whole. According to Ferreira de Araujo, this body of work is a duo process weaved in one entire creative stream. Some of the works in this show, the ones created in 2012, were part of his last solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Pernambuco (MAC-PE) last year.

Fernando Ferreira de Araujo´s works can be found in important private collections worldwide as well as in permanent collections in Public Institutions such as MAC/PE - Museu de Arte Contemporanea. He currently lives and works in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 


Introductory Text by J. Wair de Paula

Overlapping surfaces, reprocessed matters soaked in paint, wall plaster, layers of sediment and paper, almost as geological debris all come to a certain order and purity that may be conformed as a plain sense of accumulation. The title of this series by Fernando Ferreira de Araujo could, at first glance, guide our senses to perceive this body of work solely based on the semantic of the word ‘remnants’ while he uses residues to compose an intricate surface in each piece. However a more acute eye will lead the observer to another place: ‘remains’ of one’s past.

Fernando's work is crafted, influenced and altered by time, weaved by traces of his own history. This organic process, drafted ten years ago in New York where he lived for 8 years, creates a new overflow of matters, intense surfaces, meticulously built under an apparent disorder. Recollecting the archaeological architecture of his work the thought of the late Brazilian poet Mario Quintana immediately came into play: “The past does not recognize its place, because it is always present”. Nevertheless, unlike the archeological process when the sediments are removed carefully to unveil the historical object, Fernando’s method, meticulous as such, portrays an opposite intent. A stream of fragmented elements, decay of a formerly but altered area, will compose a panorama whose references seem to find parallel in the philosophical work of Jacques Derrida - the need to take contrasts to the limit, the deconstruction before its rendition. Laden waste intersects strata and layers of paint along with fragments of industrial packaging while forthrightly counterpointing the essence within each piece. As if the works were excavated, not constructed, a unique dialectic is created, visually in this case, while a paradox is inherent before deconstruction. Thus, the artist visits his repertoire and revisits his method analytically, digging his own pictorial narrative through loose and uncertain evidences he reinforces the dogma that ‘preconceiving definitions is fruitless whereas suggesting leads to creation’.

J. Wair de Paula


"REMNANTS" - Solo Show by Fernando Ferreira de Araujo Gabinite D - Art Gallery

Opening: Saturday, May 10th, 2014 - from 11:00am to 7:00pm Address: Rua Estados Unidos, 273 - Jardim Paulista Sao Paulo, SP - 01427-000 Phone: 55 11 4328 0070

Tim Lopreste