The deconstruction of representation in painting gains central stage in “No lugar em que já estamos” (In the place we already are), Bruno Dunley’s first solo show at Galeria Nara Roesler, which opens June 8. One of the leading names in the collective 2000e8, the 30 year-old artist presents over 20 pieces from his recent output, made between 2013-14. The critic João Bandeira authors the critical essay, which accompanies the show.
In the artist’s own definition, his work is “an analysis of the very nature of painting, its sensitive nature, its language codes such as the gesture, the plane, the surface, the representation... these issues are shared with the realm of pictorial language and understood as alphabet, a surface for common writing.” This premise gives rise to myriad procedures and results that compete to create a particular reading of the current world.
The poetic buoyancy of Dunley’s canvases is underpinned by superimposed, highly developed layers of paint that cause the texture of the medium to disappear. Paradoxically, this complexity of process imparts visual simplicity, resulting in diffuse anti-pictures, diluted into brushstrokes that retouch and melt the outlines. The artist’s “hand,” the gesture that marks the subject’s presence, his questioning in the artwork, and his denial, are not lost or attenuated; they are fundamental elements in a painting that asserts itself as a statement about the time out of which it arises.
The fleeting figuration set forth under these circumstances is, first and foremost, a misgiving about the surrounding reality, about the objectivity of one’s perception of the world, rather than a positivistic affirmation of the definition of events. Hence the evidence of retouches, corrections in lines, and errors that leave their marks like scars and traces.
Not by chance, Dunley’s recent production highlights the issue of color, which endows his recent work with power, as opposed to the black, white and gray that characterized his works in the past three years.
In the variety of themes depicted and the pictorial procedures employed, Bruno Dunley’s painting seeks to “evidence a living relationship through differences; to draw strength from imperfection, difference, ‘wrongness,’ opposites, and thus create a possible, common path.” “The pieces in the show possess varying visualities. There is a shift in the function of image, a disbelief in one single path to representation, a disbelief in the affirmation of a unifying thread and of the artwork’s identity through a style – a strongly demarcated visual repetition. The work builds and affirms itself upon the articulation of different ways of doing things, different forms of visibility, and a reflection on their relationship.”
Bruno Dunley was born in Petrópolis (RJ, 1984). He currently lives and works in São Paulo. Dunley holds a degree in Fine Arts from Santa Marcelina School and was one of the nominees for the 2012 edition of the Pipa Prize. His solo shows include e, at the Maria Antonia University Center (2013); 11 Bis, in Paris (2012); and Ateliê 397 (2007). Group shows include Prática portátil, at Galeria Nara Roesler (2014); Os primeiros 10 anos, at the Tomie Ohtake Institute (2011); Assim é se lhe parece, at Paço das Artes (2011); Nova arte nova, at the Bank of Brazil Cultural Center (2009); and 2000 e oito, at Sesc Pinheiros (2008).
For over 35 years now, Nara Roesler has promoted contemporary art alongside a set of national and international collectors, curators and intellectuals. In 1989, she founded Galeria Nara Roesler in São Paulo, as a venue in which to push the boundaries of artistic practice in Brazil and abroad. Representing some of the most relevant artists of our time, the gallery focuses on juxtaposing works dating from the 60s onwards, and their contemporary ramifications.
2012 was a year of major change for the gallery: Vik Muniz and Isaac Julien were added to its growing stable of artists; the exhibition space doubled in size, and the curatorial program Roesler Hotel was resumed, becoming a permanent program parallel to that of the gallery. Roesler Hotel re-inaugurated in September of 2012, with the group show Lo bueno y lo malo, curated by Patrick Charpenel (director of fundacción/colección jumex). Subsequent editions include Buzz, a show dedicated to Op Art and devised by the artist Vik Muniz, ATACAMA 1234567, Hamish Fulton’s first solo show in South America, curated by Alexia Tala; and Cães sem plumas [prólogo] curated by Moacir dos Anjos. Dispositivos para um mundo (im)possível , curated by Luisa Duarte, was the first Roesler Hotel project in 2014, followed by Spectres, curated by the Matthieu Poirier, from France.