From November 4 through December 6, 2014, Galeria Vermelho is presenting the show O Balanço da Árvore Exagera a Tempestade [The Swaying Tree Magnifies the Storm], by Gabriela Albergaria (48), a Portuguese-born artist who now resides in New York, as well as the installation Shangai em São Paulo in Shangai [Shangai in São Paulo in Shangai], by Carla Zaccagnini (40). On the show’s opening day, the Edições Tijuana publishing house will release the new translation of the poem “Odisseia,” by Homer, featuring illustrations by Odires Mlászho, and The Madman Sees What He Sees, a publication by Carla Zaccagnini containing articles by Teresa Ricardi and Kiki Mazzucchelli along with an interview with curator Jochen Volz.

Gabriela Albergaria. O Balanço da Árvore Exagera a Tempestade

In O Balanço da Árvore Exagera a Tempestade, Gabriela Albergaria presents a set of independent artworks whose interrelation gives rise to a reflection about the taming of the Landscape by Man.

Resorting to elements extracted from nature, Albergaria creates sculptures, paintings, drawings and photographs which, according to the artist, are like exercises of attention and reflection between Nature and Culture.

A sculpture created with earth, tree branches and tree leaves, Couche Sourde (2014) borrows its title from a technique of germinating tropical plant seeds in European soil. It was discovered that when the seeds are embedded in layers of soil interspersed by tree leaves and branches, enough heat is generated in this arrangement to provide for the seeds’ germination. Before this discovery, the plants used to travel from the New World to Europe in the form of seedlings, since the seeds did not find the right soil and climate to germinate in the Old World. Couche Sourde refers to this discovery and to this technique which allowed for the migration and proliferation of tropical plants on European soil. To construct the sculpture, Albergaria used an outer removable framework/mold, which she filled with local wood, soil, tree branches and tree leaves. The sculpture, measuring 600 cm x 120 cm x 90 cm, installed by the artist in Vermelho’s Room 1, dialogues not only with the main themes dealt with by Albergaria in her oeuvre, that is, the cultural transfer brought about by the migration of plants and trees, but also with questions related to perspective as well as bi- and tridimensionality.

In Quatro Estações [Four Seasons] (2014), Albergaria creates a sort of catalog of colors of the seasons of the year. On her trips, the artist gathered leaves from different places around the globe. Spring is represented by tree leaves gathered in Narrowsburg (USA); the colors that represent summer are in leaves from Portugal and Connecticut (USA); the autumn colors come from Brooklyn (USA); while those of winter were gathered in New York City. Beyond an intense exercise concerning color, Quatro Estações is also a semi-informal poetic representation about the passage of time.

On Vermelho’s façade, Albergaria has created a grid of steel cables based on the additive sequence created by Fibonacci. The Fibonacci sequence is intrinsically linked to nature. These numbers are easily found in the arrangement of leaves on plant stems, in treetops, or even in the number of petals of some flowers. The sequence gave rise to the Golden Ratio used by architects and artists in the creation of the so-called correct and harmonic proportions. Based on the Fibonacci sequence, Albergaria also created Leaf Arrangement. Installed inside the gallery, the work involves the application of Fibonacci’s sequence to the natural world, in this case, to the growth of leaves around a plant stem.

In Endangered and Vulnerable, Albergaria creates a xylotheque, sort of library with monochrome drawings of trees threatened with extinction. Following the same idea, Planificações de 5 madeiras encontradas no Canal Gowanus, Brooklyn (NY) [Polyhedral Net of 5 Pieces of Wood Found at the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn (NY)] gets its title from the most severely polluted canal in the United States, located near the artist’s studio in Brooklyn, in New York. To create it, Albergaria made polyhedral nets of five pieces of different types of wood found near the canal using a moldable material in order to make a mold of the pieces of wood contaminated with various toxic products. A mold that allows for their preservation, or, more precisely, the preservation of their image, of their representation.

Gabriela Albergaria – Selection of Solo Shows: Projecto Contentores - Museu da Electricidade – Lisbon – Portugal (2014); No hay tal cosa como la naturaleza – Carmen Araujo Arte – Caracas – Venezuela (2013); Térmico - Pavilhão Branco - Museu da Cidade - Lisbon – Portugal (2010); ABRACADÁRVORE – MAM-BA – Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia – Salvador – Brazil (2008. Selection of Group Shows: Animalia e Natureza na Coleção do CAM – Fundação Caloustre Gulbenkian – Lisbon – Portugal (2014); É Tropical, inclusive – Museu de Arte Moderna [MAM BA] – Salvador – Brazil, Paisagem e Natureza na Arte Contemporânea Portuguesa - Museu de Évora - Évora – Portugal, As trama do tempo na Arte Contemporânea: Estética ou Poética - Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz - Ribeirão Preto – Brazil (2013); El Gran Sur - 1a Bienal de Montevideo – Fundacion Bienal de Montevideo – Montevideo – Uruguai (2012); Ecólogica - MAM-SP- São Paulo – Brazil (2010); XV Bienal de V. N. de Cerveira - Fórum Cultural - Vila Nova de Cerveira – Portugal (2009).