Karola Braga

May 18th to
June 26, 2024

Galeria Luis Maluf
Rua Peixoto Gomide, 1.887
Jardins, São Paulo, SP

Karola Braga’s next solo exhibition at Galeria Luis Maluf promises to offer visitors a unique sensory immersion. Recognized as an artist and olfactory researcher, Karola adopts a multidisciplinary approach in her work, fusing elements of culture, chemistry, anthropology and sensory science. With a master’s degree in Visual Poetics from the University of São Paulo, her artistic practice stands out for its ability to incorporate scents, which evoke memories and narratives through fragrances.

The exhibition, curated by Marcello Dantas, promises to explore the limits of sensory perception and invite viewers to a unique experience. Further details about the solo exhibition will be released soon.

Raphael Sagarra – Finok

May 30 to
July 06, 2024

Usina Luis Maluf
Rua Brigadeiro Galvão, 996
Barra Funda, São Paulo, SP

Raphael Sagarra, known as Finok, is known for his interventions in public spaces in São Paulo. His work, which incorporates elements of subcultures, explores the intersection between marginality, illegality and social values.

Finok uses a variety of techniques in his paintings, combining figurative images with popular, conceptual and religious elements. His vibrant color palette contrasts with moments of subtlety, while his sculptures explore issues of identity and history.

More information about his solo exhibition, curated by Agnaldo Farias, at Usina Luis Maluf, will be available soon.

In Sensible Space / Simple, Subtle, but Strong

03 April to
18th May 2024

Usina Luis Maluf
Rua Brigadeiro Galvão, 996
Barra Funda, São Paulo, SP

In Sensible Space
Simple, Subtle, but Strong


 Visual arts have always flirted and multi-faceted with other disciplines, but the way in which these exchanges happen is a poetic specificity, understanding the word poetry as a set of experiences, methods, criteria and particular procedures that an artist can use to create art and live with the enigmas of creation. It is from this point that we begin to explore Janet Vollebregt’s career. She studied Architecture and Urbanism in the Netherlands, specializing in healthy buildings and sustainable projects. 

But Janet saw herself being limited by building regulations and faced them as impositions, which in many ways did not prioritize the well-being and perceptions of those who would live in the architectural spaces. When discussed from a multidisciplinary perspective, Janet’s work is not a dialogue between art,  architecture and healing practices, but perhaps a flow, a transit that is not at all stable, nor recognizable in its conceptual limits. The consistency of her work is due to the absence of boundaries between art, architecture and ancient healing practices based on exchange of subtle energy.  

Janet has had the chance to travel the world, spending time or living in many European countries, Indonesia, Thailand, South Africa, Australia and Brazil. She has developed social projects, experienced different cultural environments and opened herself up to many forms of knowledge, such as Feng Shue and Jin Shin Jyutsu, ancient arts of harmonizing and healing respectively spaces and the body’s vital energy. These arts of living well are innate in human wisdom. The encounter with an ongoing study of these arts is crucial in Vollebregt’s career. Being an adherent of Jin Shin Jyutsu encouraged her to think about ways of living together and creating spaces on another level. Contributing to the invisible but sensible dimension, as she well describes it, the level of the power of energy fields is one of the intentions of her work. “I chose not to be a traditional architect or a therapist, but an artist communicating and offering insights in how to be one’s own therapist. I am interested in opening paths or building spaces where people can discover their inner potential for healing and living well. Art is therefore an intermediary for me. My creations are invitations to take care of ourselves and our connection to the larger whole,” says the artist.

Janet created her home in Chapada dos Veadeiros, in the state of Goiás. The experience of the power of raw nature in this rich and biodiverse environment and its harmonizing and humbling effect, moved her to the intention of sharing this experience, also in urban areas. This intention led to the creation of interactive installations, spaces that offer sensible experiences and objects to feel. Janet’s installations embrace and include all nationalities and religions, searching for common ground and an abstract language that might be our original root language. Jin Shin Jyutsu runs through her poetics, and she experiments with installations, sculpture and painting, and handles many materials, such as oil paint, acrylic, metals, stones and crystals. In this plurality of mediums and metamorphosis of materials, Janet sees art as “a tool for communicating the invisible”.

The experience of the public’s perception is at the heart of her intentionalities, it’s like a layer that makes the work happen with fullness. Textures, colors, origins of materials, visualities, compositions and coexistence between raw materials are part of a network of perceptual interactions in which the human body, its chakras, space, and the bodies of other beings relate to each other in such a way as to affirm their presences and states of presence. In her work, presence is matter in flux. And in this sense, art is a kind of material record that engages in a task of being in the field of our perceptions and, from there, proposes some invitations: what is real or what we are seeing and perceiving belongs to what instance of real? And how do we create our experiences of the real?

In her third solo show in Brazil, Janet presents recently produced works. For Janet, her artworks are material expressions popping up out of a network of energies, like mushrooms growing out of the network of mycelium. Her sculptures and paintings are connected by their energies. Painting and stones are materials, presented in their densities, in their geological times of creation and of perception. 

Ming Tang is a series of paintings with integrated stones. These bidimensional representations of ethereal landscapes reflect stones such as rose quartz, green quartz, angelite, malachite, mangano calcite and fluorite. In Feng Shue, Ming Tang is the wide view one should ideally have from and in front of one’s home. This wide view from one’s home influences one’s vision in life. If one has a wide view from home, one can oversee a larger part of life. If one looks at a concrete wall, one’s vision is limited. Art however offers a way to create Ming Tang in homes that do not have access to the abundance of Ming Tang we experience when living on a mountain in vast nature. 

Spirit Houses are a new series of sculptures made of brass, mounted on rose quartz, green quartz, and agate stones, with reference to Thai spirit houses used for offerings. These sculptures are meant to be placed on land, in a garden or in wild nature to honor the land, its energy or spirits. As in urban areas, fewer people have a piece of land around their homes, Janet brings Spirit Houses specially designed for balconies of high-rise buildings too. Also part of this exhibition are Janet’s Totems and pendant installations, interactive sculptures, inspired by ancestral cultures, that intend to balance people’s chakras and reconnect them to the unifying source of all that is. 

All works in the exhibition communicate with “subtle energy”, something that is available, vibrating and in exchange with the environment. Every being, every element (stone, earth, air, fire), every space has fields of energy at work. Janet’s exhibition, according to the artist herself, is a tribute to the earth and the energies that can be converted into presence. The title of the exhibition is taken from the song “Amor”, released on the album “Secos e Molhados” by the similarly named band, in 1973, at a time when Brazil’s military dictatorship was proving to be very violent. The lyrics are an ode to lightness and simplicity, but they soon become a contradiction. It is impossible to forget Ney Matogrosso dancing, wearing a flowing skirt and a feather on his head. His voice accompanies the lightness and oscillation of feeling, perception and the experience of love (is it?). His words “Na simples e suave coisa / Suave, coisa nenhuma”, are pure poetry – that can hardly be translated from Brazilian Portuguese into English – that describes the essence of this exhibition in all its layers and as such were chosen as the name of the exhibition. In English we came closest to a translation of Ney Matogrosso’s poetry calling the exhibition: “In Sensible Space / Simple, Subtle, but Strong”. And so, we trace this free association of experiences between the lyrics and the works in Janet’s exhibition, which deal with floating, fluid, subtle energies: “Light, like a light plume / Very light, light landing”. An exhibition-energy that is dense and strong, and at the same time fades and blends in like “A blue cloud that dissolves”…


Galciani Neves


Usina Luis Maluf presents

3rd Artist Residency Programme

24 February to
23 March 2024

Usina Luis Maluf
996 Brigadeiro Galvão Street
Barra Funda, São Paulo, SP

3rd Artist Residency Programme

Usina Luis Maluf is pleased to be holding the 3rd edition of the Luis Maluf Artist Residency Programme. Coordinated by curators Agnaldo Farias and Priscyla Gomes, the project has selected 12 visual artists for this immersive experience at the gallery’s headquarters in São Paulo’s Barra Funda neighbourhood: Aline Moreno, Ana Raylander Mártis dos Anjos, Ana Rorras, Desirée Feldmann, Isis Gasparini, João Cardoso, Liliana Sanches, Luciana Rique, Rafael Amorim, Sabrina Savani, Talita Hoffmann, Vinicius Lopes.

The project, which received more than 500 applications, aims to train young talents and consolidate them in the artistic market. Applications were open between 27 October and 26 November 2023, via an online form available on the gallery’s website. The results were announced on 11 December.

The first edition of the Artist Residency took place in June 2021, marking the inauguration of Usina Luis Maluf, the gallery’s second space in the city, which continues to maintain its first address in the Jardins neighbourhood. The space emerged as the realisation of the gallery’s artistic project, based on the triad of education, promotion and encouragement. The residency reinforces LMGA’s commitment to artistic training and the democratisation of access to art, considering itself a space for construction, debate and access to the plurality of Brazilian culture.

In addition to providing an environment for experimentation, it contributes to the development of new ideas or the realisation of art projects.

Alexandre Farto (a.k.a. Vhils)


Oct 19 – Dec 19 2023

Usina Luis Maluf
Rua Brigadeiro Galvão, 996
Barra Funda, São Paulo, SP


The crowd is a union of singularities. It is always plural. It is sometimes in the midst of the agglutination of people where we feel most alone, but it is also in the sea of individuals united by the same fantasy where we dive into the pleasurable wave of presence and euphoria. To be in a crowd is to confront silence, to fight erasure. These are images of powerful moments in history, when individuals collectively think about their future, which Vhils brings to this exhibition. Disruptive episodes that reaffirm the singularity of a group, a people or a city – the main protagonist of the Portuguese artist’s work. Alexandre Farto.

In this exhibition, the political articulations and slogans of different public public demonstrations are not so much in the foreground as the ephemerality of these liberating experiences. The people who initially occupy the streets of the city and vocalise their desires in unison sees this power dissipate, the dream fade away. A crowd becomes a mass, individuality is overtaken by consumer society, universality is snatched away. society, universality is snatched away by globalisation. In the works of Vhils, records of the struggle for utopias become ghosts in unidentified images, decomposed and worn out. They represent both hope and bankruptcy. Are we capable of sustaining dreams and collective struggles any longer? How can we transform these apexes of history into lasting, communal tides of awareness, reaffirmation and of awareness, reaffirmation and vocalisation?

The title of the exhibition, “Alchemy”, represents the inexplicable and magical feeling generated in the union between people, and also the chemical processes of bonding and exchange of energy that permeate the compatibility of encounters. Chemical chemical reactions are also part of the production process of Vhils’ works, which uses substances such as acids and corrosives to rust and dismantle the superficial surface layers of the images he works with, causing deeper sediments to emerge. deeper sediments.

He corrodes, scrapes, pierces and explodes surfaces in a constant practice of deconstruction and construction. And the more the artist digs, the more he reveals. In an archaeological process, Vhils delves into the history of cities and the past and present of the anonymous people who build them. The people who should have monuments dedicated to them are often those whose faces we don’t know. In Vhils’ works, their faces are printed on billboards, walls, doors and metal. These individuals are the protagonists of his narrative, as are the protesters, who take the reins of their own story.

Julia Flamingo

Leandra Espírito Santo and Luiz Escañuela

Carne, Pele, Luz e Metal
[Flesh, skin, light and metal]

Oct 07 – Nov 11 2023

Galeria Luis Maluf
Rua Peixoto Gomide, 1887

Flesh, skin, light and metal

Speculation about the human body seems to have no end. Nor a beginning. Apparently from the very beginning – and who knows when that was? – we have lived with our enigmatic condition. Although we are palpable, tangible, carnal presences – at least that’s the impression we get from others – we are still obscure. Some ideas and conjectures have been decisive for the current status of the body, which doesn’t stop it from continuing to be more indecipherable than ever. Not to go too far back, think of the small automaton dolls made in the 18th century, think of the Writer, an automaton made up of six thousand parts, created in 1770 by the Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz. Looking, dressing and posing like a real person, sitting at a table with a pen in his hand, the Writer not only wrote but was programmed – you see, programmed – to write in different letters. His similarity to us went beyond physical form, but the differences between us, even worse, alluded to the possibility that within us dwell several others, evident in different handwritings. In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, these automata were a craze that lasted throughout the 19th century. Not by chance, the century in which Mary Shelley wrote, in 1818, Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus; it was also the century in which the Frenchman Auguste Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, in his The Future Eve, 1886, less gothic and more futuristic, coined the term android.

The meeting of recent works by Luiz Escañuela and Leandra Espírito Santo suggests this quick introduction, indicative of the intricate level of issues they are both dealing with. In the first room there are two paintings by Luiz, similar in size and subject matter, particularly in the prominence of the hands. In the canvas on the left, Aquilo que aqui ficou (What remained here) (2023), the tips of the index and middle fingers of the hands of a person lying on a bed touch each other gently, on the verge of intertwining. Red is the predominant colour, a blood red, luminous. The backs of the hands are meticulously executed, above all because they contrast with the body of the woman lying down, represented diffusely; the photographic extraction of the painting leads one to think of the image as being out of focus. You can perfectly see the designs of the knuckles, the estuary of lines scratched in mismatched directions, the semi-transparencies of the nails, the ones on the left hand longer, the ones on the right with red half-moons, as if they had just been taken out of a bowl of blood.

Luiz Escañuela is aware of the public’s attraction to hyperrealism, its craving for illusions. He also knows that, made from photographs, these paintings, contrary to what they claim, are the result of distancing themselves from the physical world; the more painstakingly they advance in the manufacture of perfect visibles, the further they move away from what we call reality. Lest there be any mistake about this, and also to the possible surprise of the visiting public, opposite this canvas, opening the set presented in the last room of the exhibition, is Experimento para uma cartografia das mãos (Experiment for a cartography of the hands) (2023). While the first offers a representation that wants to pass itself off as what it isn’t, truth made visible, the second, also taking the hands as its theme, lays bare the process, reveals the image’s scaffolding, the comings and goings, the paths left behind and suppressed throughout its making.

OHHHHHHH (2023) is the name of Leandra Espírito Santo’s installation, which takes up the entire middle room. In contrast to the sensual colour of Luiz’s painting, Leandra opts for the grey of aluminium. Eight heads arranged side by side, made bright by the impact of white light bulbs, the kind that impregnate the room with blue, which is why they are also called cold light bulbs. Unlike the paintings, these heads are sculptural, more concrete and real, not least because they were moulded from the artist’s face, a process that requires the impassivity of a CT scan. The heads are divided between two of the four walls of the small cubic room. As well as separating them, the light bulbs run round every corner of the volume, guaranteeing an atmosphere between factory and hospital. The heads are expressive. They therefore correspond to the artist’s particular traits, if they weren’t stereotypical expressions, such as those available in the emoji bank, one of the most recent and effective products of an overwhelming process of homogenisation of facial expressions, clothes, gestures and ready-to-wear ideas. The question arises: what is left of us? This is one of the artist’s central questions. Leandra hits on the same theme in the installation presented in the next room: 30 gsts + (2021-current). Again her hands, this time moulded in bronze in gestures copied from the cast of gestures also offered by emojis.

One of the roots of sculpture goes back to magic, to death masks and the effort to ensure the presence of those who have gone and who were important to us. What importance is there in that which is the same as the others, what is the relevance of the undifferentiated? Returning to the beginning of the exhibition, right at the entrance, stuck to the wall, three small sculptures move frantically. Inhoim-inhoim-inhoim (2023) is made up of three silicone tongues, moulded from the artist’s tongue. They seem to be alive, or are they dead, bursting with energy and, as long as there is energy, they will continue to beat against the wall, indifferent to it?

Agnaldo Farias

Bu’ú Kennedy e Sofia Lotti

O encantamento da memória gráfica e pictórica

29 de agosto a
30 de setembro de 2023

Galeria Luis Maluf
Rua Peixoto Gomide, 1887

Bu’ú Kennedy e Sofia Lotti:
o encantamento da memória gráfica e pictórica


Céu azul
Que venha até
Onde os pés
Tocam na terra
E a terra inspira
E exala seus azuis (1)

Caetano Veloso

Realidade e sonho, delírio e razão, memória e registro, representação e abstração – essas são algumas das dicotomias conjugadas nas fabulações poéticas perceptíveis no corpo de trabalhos de Bu’ú Kennedy e Sofia Lotti. Cada um, ao seu modo, promove um exercício plástico-visual de entrelaçamentos da riqueza paisagística e gráfica da vida em contato com a natureza, seja em sonho seja na experiência despertos. Os caminhos poéticos conduzidos na exposição fazem acender o olhar para força pictórica e formal do que foi possível representar ou subverter pela dupla posta em aproximação.

Desse modo, pelo encantamento da memória gráfica e pictórica, dois universos artísticos vão ao encontro do zigue-zague espacial da Galeria Luis Maluf. Bu’ú Kennedy (1978, Alto Rio Negro, São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Amazonas) traz em sua produção em marchetaria a força de nossa arte contemporânea indígena, fiel à tradição e aos conhecimentos de sua origem advinda do povo Ye’pamahsã, conhecido como Tucano. Já Sofia Lotti (1991, Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais) promove uma renovação de algumas técnicas clássicas da arte – desenhos, pastéis, pinturas e tapeçarias – por meio de um exercício permanente de representação e, também, de desconstrução da ideia de paisagem.

Em tempo das crises do antropoceno, ambos devotam o olhar para a natureza e nos restauram o encantamento por ela. Em um processo contínuo de tradução, as experiências de ambos promovem representações em cores da vida que nos é iluminada pelo exercício poético da razão. Todavia, isso acontece de maneira distinta, ao desbravarem um universo de cores, formas e grafias do que são capazes de enxergar.

Não esperem apenas conforto ou apaziguamento, há um real ponto de contato entre essas práticas poéticas que é exatamente o oposto desse sentimento presente na superfície: uma espécie de vertigem visual, um desdobramento da força visionária da arte. Não falo aqui da vertigem como uma patologia, descrita em sintomas, mas de um estado de consciência capaz de poder ver uma paisagem (ou mesmo uma miragem) de forma apurada, sempre atento ao fato de que aquilo que se posta diante dos olhos não está imune ao movimento que a passagem do tempo registra. Somos então seduzidos pelo olhar do outro, encantado em cada uma das obras apresentadas.  E, por isso, acabamos atraídos por elas, algo distinto do que entendemos por predileções ou meras escolhas supersticiosas. Na lógica da arte que agora nos é apresentada, os trabalhos são na verdade apuros técnico-poéticos, produzidos na madeira trabalhada por Bu’ú ou nos traços e formas dos desenhos e da tapeçaria de Sofia.

Sofia Lotti, por exemplo, traz para essa mostra uma seleção de trabalhos que arranjam três caminhos de sua sofisticada manualidade: desenhos traçados com materiais diversos, o pastel seco (um lugar transitório e ambíguo, entre o desenho e a pintura) e a tecelagem manual revertida em tapeçarias. Da amplitude de uma paisagem que dignifica a expressão “até onde a vista alcança” aos movimentos delicados e exuberantes de uma planta em floração, a artista nos oferece uma memória daquilo que ela capta e interpreta da natureza. No processo de trabalho dela, em especial nos pastéis, a fotografia veio enquanto registro de um momento, aprisionando-se o próprio tempo. Dessa imagem e por meio de sua memória sensitiva, Sofia decompõe a imagem, para depois recompô-la pictoricamente. Quando vistos em conjunto, seus traços, suas manchas de cor e seus volumes construídos registram um léxico pictórico e gráfico próprio.

As composições vertiginosas que vemos nas tapeçarias e nos pastéis embaralham nossa identificação de quais ambientes estamos vendo. Só reconhecemos melhor o contexto, quando acessamos os títulos descritivos de cada peça, pequenas pistas de signos. Até que ponto é necessário identificar a localidade? Existe, enfim, um lugar transitório que conecte as paisagens gélidas de uma Noruega interiorana com o cerrado ou o sertão mineiro? Essas presenças geográficas em seus trabalhos acabam por conviver de maneira indistinta em seus trabalhos, especialmente a partir da maneira como foram expostos. Muitas das imagens encantadas da artista nos põem no lugar da dúvida.

Nesse embaralhamento do olhar, acontece um efeito que se reverte em movimento espacial da cor quando da nossa percepção mais demorada. Sugere-se um passeio pictórico, trilhado pelo movimento do olhar ao longo das massas de cor que são dispostas. Acompanhamos a escolha intencional da artista que tenta decompor o tom que viveu na natureza. Por isso, com propósito, há o consciente transbordamento da cor para o limite sugerido pela moldura colorida. Mesmo pela sua função primeira de delimitação do corpo bidimensional, a moldura ganha também uma valoração compositiva. Por sua vez, na tapeçaria, a borda e a estrutura são em sua maioria irregulares, gerando eventuais volumes, tensões ou abaulados. Há, desse modo, uma vida do material que é respeitada e tomada como parte do trabalho.

Bu’ú Kennedy, por seu turno, nos apresenta a composição de seus grafismos pictóricos ancorado em um saber ancestral, feitos a partir da diversidade construtiva da marchetaria. É no plano bidimensional de suas peças em madeira que se impregnam ritmos, perspectivas, caminhos e formas: todas elas são representações do que a natureza é capaz de nos dizer e nos orientar. Em certos momentos, com aquilo que nós chamamos de um estado alterado da consciência, o artista simboliza um léxico próprio de sua cultura indígena tucana, desembocando no universo das cores da natureza. Percebe-se uma intrincada elaboração de signos que perpassam seus saberes indissociados de uma força espiritual capaz de trabalhar as possibilidades de cura e restauração. É um vocabulário gráfico-geométrico que se apresenta pela repetição em linha de símbolos e cores, como, por exemplo, pode ser visto no trabalho Se’ã Dia’poá wahsé kaapi’tʉ hori. É quase como uma “tábua manifesto” que personifica a sabedoria ancestral, da qual o artista é legítimo representante e guardião.

O ato de ritualizar em busca do cuidado com o outro também se presentifica pela produção pictórica, podendo enveredar para uma representação da abundante paisagem que o cerca em presença ou em sonho. Basta olhar com atenção para a obra Hori Mihpĩ, onde uma precisa arquitetura do desenho se materializa, colocando em compasso dois signos: Hori/Cores e Mihpĩ/Açai. Reproduz-se, portanto, o que o artista nos contou: o açaí é um fruto que traz em si uma energia e uma vitalidade especiais, contribuindo para florescer ideias, emanando prosperidade e abundância. Não é à toa que a vertigem provocada pela imagem é fruto de sua intrincada construção que tece os caminhos das cores da vida, ao mesmo tempo em que abstrai a própria estrutura eloquente da palha de açaí.

A única figuração do artista presente na exposição é, na verdade, a miragem de um cenário vislumbrado pelo artista. Ele percebeu a presença de uma mulher na paisagem de um rio integrado à natureza da floresta. Bu’ú nos contou que tal imagem veio com força após seu rito com ayahuasca. O próprio desenrolar da memória foi  tomado pela potência do que ele mesmo chama de “beber a luz do conhecimento”. A iluminação, portanto, é agora de outra ordem. Curiosamente, nessa peça a pigmentação da madeira tem menor força e não apresenta contrastes sublinhados de maneira enérgica. O foco está nos traços da representação figurativa que são bem mais evidentes e precisos. Independente de que caminho formal o artista construa, há o apreço por fortalecer passagens simbólicas e efetivas para uma arte contemporânea indígena.


Paisagens em translação

Como gostaríamos de afirmar, há sim o nosso encantamento pelas paisagens e representações ilustradas. Entretanto, é algo que se porta muito além das formalidades técnicas de cada um. A meu ver, os trabalhos em conjunto são exercícios indeléveis de sedução pela forma, cor e material que nos atraem para uma percepção mais acurada: ver para além da imagem descrita.

Ao alcance de nossas vistas, cada obra instalada evoca o repertório de ambas as práticas artísticas, nos apresentando uma memória gráfica e visual de suas experiências cotidianas, quase que como algo análogo a ideia da translação, um caminho mais elíptico, mais duradouro e menos objetivo. Esse caminho é perceptível pela potência visual das memórias de Bu’ú, muitas vezes ativadas em seus rituais de cura, e nas paragens percorridas e visitadas pela Sofia mundo afora (e por ela subvertidas).

Para ajudar no entendimento desses movimentos mencionados, trago um exemplo da música. Há mais de 40 anos, um dos nossos maiores artistas em atividade, compôs a canção Luz do Sol, da qual tomo alguns versos emprestados para compor a epígrafe. Assim, como há um movimento sonoro e lírico que parece evocar inclusive a ideia de volta e até mesmo da translação, pois enuncia ademais os ciclos de luz e vida, cada obra apresentada na exposição – tanto do Bu’ú como da Sofia – contém também um movimento ativo de transformação do suposto ambiente natural e bucólico.

Ora com maior apreço pela realidade na captura da paisagem ora de forma mais subvertida, há em ambas as posturas um caminho mais elíptico de aproximação e de distensão, de detalhe e de distanciamento, do que é visionário e do que é representativo, do que é imaginação e do que é real, do que é chão e matéria e do que é céu e etéreo. De certo, existe um trânsito em curso, o mesmo movimento do azul que está na canção que vai do céu para a terra e da terra para o céu. Ao fim e ao cabo, vemos algo que é traduzido pela presença magnânima da luz, em especial, a que solariza os acontecimentos da vida.

Diego Matos, 22 de agosto de 2023.

(1) Versos da canção Luz do Sol (1982), composta pelo artista brasileiro Caetano Veloso e gravada, em especial, em discos do próprio compositor e das artistas Nara Leão e Gal Costa. A música foi tema musical do filme de Fábio Barreto, intitulado “Índia, a filha do sol”, em 1982.

Yohannah de Oliveira

Santuários Movediços

May 18, 2023
– June 17, 2023

Usina Luis Maluf
Brigadeiro Galvão, 996


Moving Sanctuaries

Safe place is a notion that refers to a place of shelter, both physical and emotional, for an individual or a group of people. Refuge, redoubt, nest, and sanctuary are some metaphorical examples of safe places.

Yohannah de Oliveira found in the process of artistic creation her temple. It is where a condition of invention and safeguarding is established. Without discovery it is not possible to continue taking refuge, just as a hiding place needs to change place or a password needs to be updated to keep something safe. After all, to save is to make it last, to face the action of time.

From a Christian congregational family, Yohannah preserves an iconoclastic verve in her investigations. She registers non-figurative pulsations, even though she sometimes lends them a title that guides a meaning. Her gestural procedures are marked by the trace and the capture of impressions left by materials that are in contact with the work as it works, that is, while wefts react to pigments, water and other substances, until their drying process.

Concealing and revealing
Yohannah seems driven by oxymorons, and one of them consists of concealing by revealing, that is, covering up, but demarcating that something is hidden right there. In Dar as costas, the artist envelops and sews the surface that was painted, turning it inside out. The painting becomes subcutaneous: we can only access the pigment that has leaked onto the back of the canvas. This experience is similar to that of someone who discovers a safe or a folder with a password on the computer and announces: “I am here, and my value can only be accessed through a secret”. But the secret here is that the external protects and at the same time carries with it the value of what has been hidden. In turn, the complementary opposing work, Bater de Frente, reveals the painting to the world, and when discussing what is the primary aim of something, the opposition of the works prioritizes interiority.

Other works also deal with this economy of revelation: that is, they take place in a regime of that which lets itself be seen. Mosqueteiro delineates an inside and an outside by means of a tenuous matter, the tulle that filters an inadvertent look. Inside, a candle, the same height as the artist, carries with it the idea of slowly revealing.

Such procedures convoke discussions of photography, since excessive exposure devastates the image and captures nothing; and of the order of the sacred itself, whose presence we may even feel, but it is not our place to see, at least not completely.

Premeditated archaeologies
Imbued with safeguarding something, Yohannah flirts with the action of time, but armed with subterfuges to delay its passage. In O que eu deixo vazar, the earthy and mineral palette establishes the perception of something remote, telluric, or archetypal, but at the same time its texture is full of durable components such as glue, acrylics, and polymers. There is no opposition between natural and artifice, everything is ingenuity.

Rizoma, Mar Concreto, Toque, Fêmur start from a kind of archeological site previously built. The action of wearing out the pieces, from their composition in premeditated layers, brings a data of control over what can be found, but does not prevent the discovery, the surprise, and the nuance with the effect of accumulation of time.

Framing the gaze
And even in works that are contrary to the logic of concealment, Yohannah uses artifices such as framing raw materials that are not always consecrated, to speak of what is sacred around us. A frame refers to the “picture” format, but also to the more mundane that deserves to be appreciated on cell phone screens. And just as what is inside the frame is image, what fits in a frame is art.

It is in this enigma of making hidden matter its raw material, of making something visible in its concealment, of something that endures safe from time and gaze, that Yohannah builds her shifting sanctuaries of invention.

Diego Mauro, curator

Karola Braga and Licida Vidal

stories from the land

May 6, 2023 – June 22, 2023

Galeria Luis Maluf
Peixoto Gomide, 1887


histórias da terra

“todo ser vivo é a terra dos outros. Cada espécie é o terreno de vida de um número indefinido de outros atores – vivos e não vivos” Emanuele Coccia

“Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” The sentence from the first book of the biblical series, entitled Genesis, brings us back into confrontation with one of the countless versions of the beginning of everything, of life and death. From the life cycles of which we are all a part, sprout disparate ideas, which mostly start from darkness. From the time when we have no memories, from the chapter when we were cocoons, before our first metamorphoses, everything was pitch. We were born from the night, and it is only from the night that we are aware of the light. According to the native peoples, especially the Guarani Mbya, the mother is darkness and it is through her that everything takes shape. We break through layers of earth, skin and husks toward life, for which we will fight until our eternal return to earth. The exhibition Earth Stories and the works presented by Karola Braga and Licida Vidal at the Galeria Luis Maluf are about the relations between meanings, memories, permanences, and life courses that are always in constant transformation.

As the Italian philosopher Emanuele Coccia explains, “ Each species, including the human species, is the metamorphosis of all those that preceded it – the same life, cobbling together a new body and a new form in order to exist differently”.  With this thought in hand, the exhibition that unfolds before the spectator is naturally divided into three moments in which Braga and Vidal reflect and materialize in art their respective ways of seeing what vital stages are essentially made of.

In the first room, the beginning is presented through a site-specific installation created by Vidal in which the São Paulo artist floods the exhibition space according to its topography in order to put us at the mercy of the experience of origin, between sky and sea. In a solution with bio-fertilizer, two suspended ceramic sculptures partially float in the aquatic redoubt. Beside them, negatives of beings from the vegetable kingdom produced in plaster and pigmented by Karola Braga, from São Paulo, reconstruct this beginning. From the work displayed on the wall of the space, a sumptuous petricor exudes, a smell of wet earth, which allows us to access an infinity of memories related to the birth of several species and beings. The connection with the sensitive is immediate and it is in this room that a journey of experience and exchange between artist and visitor begins.

From the olfactory and visual experience, we arrive at the second moment of the show, in which the structures of both artists clash. On one side, Braga’s natural representations are penetrated by a milder and grayer chromaticity and reverberate around them the smell of the forest, humid and rustic, which brings in itself references to the maturity of a body in full vigor. It is important to point out the broadness of the olfactory artist’s research, which moves through different visual supports in order to take us to the poetic realm of absence, presence, and everything that smell comes to represent in the human mind. On the other hand, Vidal’s sculptural structures go against his natural nook. Made of ceramic, which is nothing more than earth undergoing a profound transformation from the exposed temperature, they acquire almost animal-like forms that run down the wall.

Such a preamble flows into a white room majestically created by Karola Braga. In it hovers the smell of loss, of mourning, of that which inevitably goes out despite our incessant attempt to contain it. Its essence seeks materialization through a site specific that puts us back in space, immersed in a reflection about what is beyond the earth, perhaps beyond life. If in Western culture the color black is associated with death and darkness, with fear and suffering, in Eastern teachings this thought is inverted, placing white as the key tone for the transcendental moment of passage to which we will all inevitably be subjected. The room becomes a sanctuary about time and memory.

All knowledge of oneself is always a knowledge of other life forms, because each life form is a collage of species. From this collage arise the seeds, which Licida Vidal places in the last exhibition room on the soles of her feet. Around the exhibited photograph is the impossibility of water, which overflows at the beginning of the show. In an installation made up of ceramic plates, the artist reassembles the ground punished and cracked by the drought that devastates our world. If “nature creates forms, apparently different, by simple modifications of a single organ,” as Goethe (1749-1832) said, this visit is an inexorable cycle of our present, past, and future. Of a single organ that passes through the infinite possibilities of life.

Ana Carolina Ralston

Bordalo II

Bicho Homem

March 28th, 2023
– May 3rd, 2023

Usina Luis Maluf
Brigadeiro Galvão, 996
Barra Funda, São Paulo

Bicho Homem 

In my work I normally portray animals, often those we are not so used to living with and which we thus find more interesting.

Thinking about these animals often transports us to a purer, more natural place, a place in our imagination which instantly appears as a natural place for animals. If we apply this same perspective to the human race, what is the environment that is most natural to us, where humans exist in their purest form? Would it be that place where humankind has remained closest to nature and lives in greater harmony with it – as is still the case with some indigenous peoples? Or would it be that place which, contrary to our own nature and that of the planet, inhabits the artificial reality we have built for ourselves and by which we have become enslaved?

When we look at modern cities, the reality is much more complex. Alienated from nature, it often boils down to a duality between the haves and have-nots: those who have work, a house, access to education, access to health, money, stability and the possibility to imagine a future and realise it; and those who have nothing, whose  existence is shaped by the absence of possibility, who don’t have the means tochoose what they want to be and how they want to live. The latter have no choice but to survive.

This daily struggle makes the city not a place of development, progress and well-being, but a hostile place of oppression and violence.

Far removed from nature, the most fragile are disowned by their own species, consigned to a sub-existence, and likened to pests. These are the HUMAN ANIMALS.