Santídio Pereira's solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, Brazil

Santidio Pereira, Objeto XV, 2020-web

The Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo, Brazil, hosts an unprecedented exhibition by the Brazilian artist Santídio Pereira, from April 2nd to September 1st, 2024. Curated by Cauê Alves, chief curator at MAM, the exhibition Santídio Pereira: paisagens férteis [Santídio Pereira: Fertile Landscapes] brings together more than 30 works in the Paulo Figueiredo Room – some of them never seen before – including engravings, paintings and objects produced by the artist in a period between 2017 and 2024.

The exhibition presents the artist’s research on Brazilian biomes, from the Amazon to the Atlantic Forest, encompassing places that have been part of his experiences and particularly highlighting the observations he has made amidst nature. These works reflect on mountainous landscapes and plants such as bromeliads and mandacarus, while others evoke his childhood memories in Piauí that the artist carries with him.

“Pereira is clearly interested in botany and in the land of his birth. He has established an artist residency program and workshops in the small village where he was born to train the local people. He also likes to travel, embarking on journeys that are akin to expeditions, in an attempt to get closer to the natural landscape and its views, and practice drawing. His attitude towards nature is not that of a predator or one who wishes merely to capture an image that interests him. Neither does he approach nature like a tourist taking a photograph and moving on to the next destination, like a casual explorer. Rather than a desire to devour all relevant information, Pereira’s relation to the world is based on an exchange of feelings and significant experiences.

While some sketches and notes appear in small notebooks, the final pieces are much larger. The scale of Santídio Pereira’s works reflects that of the human body. Printed without using a press, the artist applies himself to each print using tools such as spoons to ensure the ink sticks to the paper. Many of his works are huge and this means that we engage with them not only visually, but with the whole body. These large-format pieces signal a desire to both confront the physical challenge involved and, at the same time, depict the world on a scale that is as close as possible to 1:1, without reducing the images to miniatures.”

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