An artist on the frontier between several languages such as drawing, photography, sculpture and video, Vanderlei Lopes has dedicated himself to explore matters of tradition repositioning them from current meanings. Part of the generation who became notorious in the years 2000 in São Paulo, Brazil, he deals with the concepts of transformation and transience. The perception and certain notions of the process of social construction, such as tradition and language, are central themes in his works. Aporia or apparent conceptual contradictions—fact and fiction; construction and deconstruction; for instance—are part of these articulations. Time, in some of his pieces, emerges as an annotation of the immediate here and now; in others, as a nod to a faraway historical distance, marked symbolically by the process of building the civilization.
Vanderlei often re-poses these questions related to tradition and heritage through sculpture, taken from a reflection of its current meanings. In his actions, he makes use of a series of materials connected to tradition, causing friction between the historical meanings infused in them and the pure volatile or unstable appearance of some of his creations, like the recent newspapers, produced since 2018. These sculptures cast in bronze and painted in gouache crawl into the wind and take up the floor area. In the manner of collages, the images and texts painted on the bronze surface come from various references and conjugate times and spaces separated by time.
The newspaper is a manner of fixating time, an index of the everyday life which becomes obsolete from the moment it is printed; bronze, the element of the sculpture, and according to tradition, transforms and perpetuates certain forms in the dimension of eternity. In this work, the heavy bronze newspapers, painted in gouache, go back to the light and trivial appearance of a newspaper. In them, the several languages, images, and texts produced by the flow of the ephemeral quotidian and by history are mixed and, through affirmative sentences, bring emphasis and friction to the condition of monument of fugacious experiences of the everyday.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Vanderlei Lopes has had several solo and group exhibitions, both in Brazil and abroad, such as Nova Arte Nova, curated by Paulo Venancio Filho, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, in 2009; Cavalo, Galeria Marília Razuk, São Paulo, in 2013; Grilagem, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, in 2014; Transitorio, Galeria Nueveochenta, Bogota, Colombia, in 2014; Uma coleção particular – Arte Contemporânea no Acervo da Pinacoteca, curated by José Augusto Ribeiro, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, in 2015; Gold Rush, curated by Chris Sicat, De Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA – EUA, in 2016; Domo, curated by Douglas de Freitas, Capela do Morumbi, São Paulo, in 2017; ARENA, Galeria Athena, Rio de Janeiro, in 2018; What I Really Want to Tell You…, curated by Jennifer Inacio and Flavia Macuco, Atchugarry Art Center, Miami, in 2019.
His works are present in important collections, such as Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro and Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro, among many other important private and public collections. Vanderlei has received awards among which are the Exhibition program at Centro Cultural São Paulo in 2003, Prêmio Pirelli at ArtRio, in 2016, and Proac – Artes Visuais, in 2016, and is nominated to the EFG Latin American Art Award 2019/ ArtNexus.