Luiz Zerbini´s new exhibition at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel | Galpão features prints for the first time in his long career. Monotypes is the result of the artist’s immersion in such universe together with the printer João Sánchez. They left Rio de Janeiro in a truck towards Inhotim carrying a printing press. Once there, they searched for rare species that would serve as matrices for these pieces at the Botanical Gardens.
In his past ventures into printing, Zerbini never felt satisfied with the result. The pieces seemed adaptations of his paintings and this lack of autonomy bothered him. However, while developing his book Minhas Impressões (UQ! Editions, 2016) his relationship with the technique changed. The monotypes with plants come across as a subversion of such technique: a direct printing in which the plant species are used as matrices to the very images.
The compositions favor the contours and textures of each species in a reduced palette of browns, greens and blacks. The species fill up the paper – always vertically – in different movements. The distinctive Costela de Adão [Swiss cheese plant] is shown whole, frontally, as if in a close-up portrait. Ipê [Ipe] in turn, is deconstructed in positive and negative fragments that overlap in a grey cloud. Other pieces refer to images from the history of art. Embaúba [Cecropia] with a dry cut and high contrast, reminds us of Andy Warhol´s flowers and Jardim Japonês [Japanese Garden] aspires to different times and states of contemplation. If this technique emerges as a novelty, the tropical flora highly popular in his paintings reemerges as a central theme. The pieces reveal a sort of simplicity that only a long time of observation can provide. There is an evident and incessant exchange between the artist’s eye and these plants.
Luiz Zerbini was born in 1959, in São Paulo, but has been living and working in Rio de Janeiro since 1982. Among his recent exhibitions, the following solo shows stand out: amor lugar comum, Inhotim (Brumadinho, 2013 – present); Pinturas, Casa Daros (Rio de Janeiro, 2014); Amor, MAM (Rio de Janeiro, 2012). His work can be seen in different public collections, such as Inhotim (Brumadinho), Instituto Itaú Cultural (São Paulo), MAM Rio de Janeiro, MAM São Paulo, among others.