In April, Pivô presents a solo exhibition by the artist Alexandre da Cunha as part of its Annual Exhibition Program. The program aims to present an overview of the recent contemporary production enabling new projects of mid-career national and international artists. The show will comprise new-commissions along with a selection of previous works. The artist will work at the exhibition space for two months.
Alexandre da Cunha’s production is essentially sculptural. The artist rarely builds an object from scratch, his practice begins with a careful selection of found objects and precast shapes, which later on are rearranged and presented again as ‘spatial collages’. Both his large public works and small-scale sculptures highlight the physical features and the narrative potential of items that could easily go undetected.
The shapes, colors and textures of brooms, cleaning mops, clothes, and precast structures of civil construction are the trigger for free associations and unexpected translations done by the artist. Alexandre alters the meaning and functionality of these well-known images through sophisticated poetic operations and fine irony, not paying attention to any kind of categorization or hierarchy that might be associated to the objects that he carefully selects as his raw-material.
The artist’s stubborn involvement with the poetic potential of the mundane is similar to the child who receives a gift and pays attention only to the packaging: their unstrained gaze focus on the shapes that naturally intrigues them -the toy and the box are no different. Da Cunha offers ‘new lenses’ to the spectator, by inviting the viewers to reassess their relationship with the world’s materiality.
The displacement of the found object to the institutional context has been assimilated by contemporary practice for so long that nowadays the prefabricated is almost equal to bronze or to terracotta in contemporary sculpture’s production. Taking this statement in consideration, it wouldn’t be too much to say that Alexandre da Cunha is a virtuoso in this technique.