Iran do Espírito Santo
Brazilian artist comes to the Ingleby Gallery presenting visual puns
This article is from 2010.
Internationally acclaimed Brazilian artist Espírito Santo here presents visual puns in the form of beautiful mirrored and crystal sculptures, and a wall painting that alternately produces an instinctive and immersive effect. This is a formula that not only toys with ideas of commodification but also toys with our conception of visual and physical experience. Espírito Santo is an artist known for his singular interpretation of the minimalist aesthetic and his persistent questioning of the nature of perception, and the impact of this exhibition of pared-down works is much greater than at first meets the eye.
Reacting specifically to the Ingleby’s upper gallery space, wall painting ‘En Passant 5’ is the main focus here. Using regular house paint, the artist has mechanically striped the walls in grayscale gradations. Running from white through to black, this initially stark intervention faithfully engages with its site’s specifics and wall, floor, column and light quickly become entwined. As the viewer is compelled to move and walk its lengths, the painting becomes darkening skies, heat rising, weight sinking, fast forwarded scenes and flashbacks: a patterned composite of faintly associative elements. Nothing and everything at once, this affecting work not only encourages consideration of its formal, hypnotic aesthetic but also of its own physicality and the physical effect it produces.
An artistic interest in ‘everyday experience’ is far from uncommon, yet you get the sense that Espírito Santo takes this conceit further than most. Probing and at times difficult to unpack, there remains a disarming simplicity to these accomplished works.
Ingleby Gallery, 556 4441, until 25 Sep, free.