David B. Smith Gallery is pleased to welcome back Brazilian painter Bruno Novelli for his second solo exhibition, Turmalinas No Céu. Spanning the main gallery and project room, Novelli expands on his visual language defined by luscious colors, tropical imagery, and collage-like layered compositions. Roughly translating to “tourmaline sky,” Turmalinas No Céu explores what Novelli terms a “tropical delirium,” a type of aesthetic utopia where imagery imbued with personal meaning materializes into paradisiac landscapes.
Exotic and yet familiarly primal, viewers can feel the pulse of Novelli’s nocturnal jungle scenes. Spider monkeys peer out from behind mountains of sliced agate, while glowing moons coax tropical flowers to bloom. Alongside scenes of fantastical rainforest flora, fauna, and celestial bodies, are smaller canvases that Novelli describes as invitations for introspective experience. In contrast to the spindly jungle scenes of the larger canvases, many of these smaller scale works feature hazy color gradients and slices of Brazilian gemstones sprinkled over the surface, delivering a powerful visual punch.
In full vivid color, overgrown with phosphorescent vegetation, laden with slices of watermelon tourmaline ripe enough to eat, Bruno Novelli’s bricolage of tropical visions travels across the equator and back again in Turmalinas No Céu.
Bruno Novelli was born in 1980 in Brazil. Novelli studied sculpture at the School of Visual Arts in New York City; Drawing at the Atelier Livre da Prefeitura de Porto Alegre in Brazil, attended to painting classes with Paulo Pasta at Instituto Tomie Othake in Sao Paulo and Graphic Design at ESPM in Sao Paulo. Novelli is a founder of the Universidade Autoindicada por Entidades Livres, which was created to articulate interdisciplinary artistic research. Novelli is also co-founder of Metagrafismo (Metagraphism), an experimental collective exploring the graphic potential of metalinguistics. Novelli’s work has been exhibited in his native Brazil, as well as internationally in England, Denmark, Spain, Japan and the United States.
In 2010, Novelli participated in the São Paulo edition of Transfer for the Pavilion of Brazilian Culture at Ibirapuera Park. Most recently he has participated in a residency with the art collective MAHKU in the city of Jordão/Acre in Amazonia, exhibitions at Fundacion OSDE (Buenos Aires), Centro Nacional de Las Artes (CENART - Mexico) and at the Museu da Imagem e do Som (MIS) in São Paulo. Novelli’s paintings and videos feature enigmatic images, in which otherworldly entities, northern figures, dynamic geometric forms, and an encrypted alphabet strangely align. He has a deep interest in Amazonian rituals, the practice of painting, and experimentations with animated gifs. Novelli lives and works in São Paulo.