January 29, 2014 - Wexner Center for the Arts - Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil
January 29, 2014

Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil

Laura Belém, Veneza do Brasil (Venice of Brazil), 2007. Wood, cardboard, polystyrene, water, metal, acrylic, and fans, 64 15/16 x 118 1/8 x 78 3/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo. Photo: Edouard Fraipont.

Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil
February 1–April 20, 2014

Opening: Friday, January 31, 7–9pm; dance party 9–11pm

Wexner Center for the Arts
The Ohio State University
1871 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43210

T +1 614 292 3535

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As part of Via Brasil, a multidisciplinary, multi-year initiative focusing on today’s vibrant art and culture of Brazil—and made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—the Wexner Center for the Arts presents Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil, among the most ambitious exhibitions in the center’s 25-year history. Occupying the entirety of the center’s four galleries, and including a site-specific installation created especially for this show by Lucia Koch in the center’s lobby, Cruzamentos is the result of more than three years of curatorial research and in-country exploration by Wexner Center staff in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Recife, and Belo Horizonte, as well as less-traveled urban centers in Brazil. With 80 artworks by 35 artists (many of whom have never widely exhibited in the US, if at all), Cruzamentos is the most comprehensive exhibition of recent Brazilian art ever to be presented in North America. 

Cocurated by the Wexner Center’s Jennifer Lange (curator, Film/Video Studio Program), and Bill Horrigan (curator at large), along with distinguished contemporary art historian and independent curator Paulo Venâncio Filho (a professor at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), Cruzamentos highlights work by artists who are relatively young, though recognized and highly respected in Brazil, if not yet globally. Cruzamentos represents a full range of artistic practices and media—including painting, site-specific installation, photography, sculpture, and moving-image works—and features several works produced specifically for the exhibition. Visual artists working today in Brazil commonly move freely and urgently among various mediums, and Cruzamentos reflects that improvisatory impulse, as it does the equally distinctive repurposing of nontraditional materials—often domestic objects put to unexpected but striking use. 

The word cruzamentos translates literally as “crossings” or “intersections,” but in Brazil, it also refers metaphorically to the mixing of cultures and ethnicities that renders the country so distinctive. Cruzamentos aims to extend that metaphor to contemporary art, focusing on artists whose practices and influences are as varied as the social, racial, and geographical landscapes of the country itself. 

Márcio Almeida, Jonathas de Andrade (in residence), Claudia Andujar, Luiza Baldan, Brígida Baltar, Laura Belém, Tatiana Blass, Rodrigo Braga, Gisele Camargo, Leda Catunda, Cia de Foto (a collective), Marcelo Cidade, Theo Craveiro, Alexandre da Cunha, José Damasceno, Detanico Lain (a collective), Dias & Riedweg, Marcius Galan, Alair Gomes, Fernanda Gomes, Cao Guimarães, Lucia Koch (in residence), Jac Leirner, Cristiano Lenhardt, Cinthia Marcelle, Vânia Mignone, Beatriz Milhazes, Odires Mlászho, Maria Nepomuceno, Caio Reisewitz, Rosângela Rennó, Regina Silveira, Adriana Varejão, Erika Verzutti, and Marcia Xavier

A fully illustrated catalogue, portions of which will appear in Portuguese as well as in English, will accompany Cruzamentos, with essays by Venâncio Filho, Lange, and Horrigan, as well as by Cristiana Tejo, independent Brazilian curator and former director of Museu de Arte Moderna Aloíso Magalhães in Recife. The catalogue will also include entries on all the individual artists, while also documenting three Wexner Center creative residencies undertaken at our invitation by Brazilian filmmakers and video artists central to the Via Brasil initiative: two by artists represented in Cruzamentos (Jonathas de Andrade and Lucia Koch), and one by filmmaker/visual artist Gabriel Mascaro, who was selected as the result of an institutional collaboration between the Wexner Center and the São Paulo–based video art festival Videobrasil (the first partnership ever undertaken by Videobrasil with a North American institution). 

Via Brasil
In addition to Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil, the overall Via Brasil initiative includes Cruzamentos: Contemporary Brazilian Documentary, a presentation of more than 30 contemporary Brazilian documentaries rarely seen in North America (screening January through April at the Wex, then touring to several US venues throughout 2014); a selection of complementary performing arts events; educational programming including a symposium, gallery talks, graduate-level seminar, and events designed to engage students, families, and teens; and the first English-language translation of essays by influential film critic, professor, and historian Paulo Emílio Sales Gomes, to be published in late 2014.

The initiative is also accompanied by a companion website (wexarts.org/viabrasil) developed by a cross-departmental Wexner Center team. The site provides a holistic look at not only the Via Brasil project itself, but other related content including artist videos and biographies, curatorial travelogues, current events on the ground, and much more—all meant to provide a multifaceted glimpse into this fascinating nation.

Via Brasil video.

Press contacts
Erik Pepple: T +1 614 292 9840 / epepple [​at​] wexarts.org
Jennifer Wray: T +1 614 247 6241 / jwray [​at​] wexarts.org


Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil at the Wexner Center
Wexner Center for the Arts
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