Rivane Neuenschwander

Rivane Neuenschwander’s ephemeral practice draws on the history of Latin American conceptualism to explore the interplay between chance and order in everyday life.
Neuenschwander was born in 1967 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
Neuenschwander is one of the most internationally renowned Brazilian artists of her generation. She often allows the influence of autonomous, transient forces – humans and animals being recurring elements – to dictate the production of her works. Themes of mutability, geography and nature underpin Neuenschwander’s practice. Highlighting the beauty of overlooked phenomena and seemingly banal gestures, she seeks to unveil, and make sense of, the chaotic logic that underpins both the natural and man-made worlds.
Neuenschwander’s unique take on Brazilian conceptualism investigates chance and control, at times through direct interaction with the viewer. Her innovative and experimental practise includes painting, photography, film, sculpture and installation. Identity is integral to her works; she draws from folk traditions and incorporates eclectic influences from Brazil’s diverse history of art movements.
Neuenschwander’s participatory works are made in collaboration with the viewer, involving a combination of games, experiments and spontaneous and participatory actions. Her works are shaped by an interest in language, nature, geography, time and social interactions and how these processes are connected. The materiality, use of colour and concern for the social aspect of art in her work invites comparisons to artists such as Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark.
Neuenschwander will have a major solo exhibition at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz this winter, bringing together historical and recent works. The show will also be accompanied by a substantial publication on the artist’s work.
In 2013 Neuenschwander received the 6th Yanghyun Prize in Korea. In 2010 Neuenschwander was the subject of a mid-career survey ‘A Day Like Any Other’ that originated at the New Museum, New York and travelled to Mildred Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis (2010); Miami Art Museum, Miami (2011) and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin (2011).
Notable solo exhibitions include ‘Tropics: Damned, Orgasmic and Devoted’, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, USA (2020); ‘O Alienista’, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo, Brazil (2019); ‘Alegoria del Miedo (Allegory of Fear)’, NC-Arte Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia (2018); ‘Rivane Neuenschwander and Cao Guimarães: Quarta-Feira de Cinzas/Epilogue’, Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, Florida (2018); ‘The Name of Fear’, Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2017); ‘The Reading Box, The Moon, Misfortunes and Crimes’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2017); ‘Secondary Stories’, SPACE, Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, Texas (2016); ‘The Name of Fear’, Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016); ‘Children’s Commission 2015: Rivane Neuenschwander’, Whitechapel Gallery, London, England (2015); ‘Rivane Neuenschwander: mal-entendidos/misunderstandings’, São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, Brazil (2014); ‘Quarta-feira de cinzas/Epilogue’, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2014); ‘POST – The Order and the Method’, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2013); ‘The Spiral and The Square. Exercises in Translatability’, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, Norway (2012) and ‘Wednesday Series’, Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, California (2012).
Neuenschwander’s works are included in prominent collections internationally including: Tate, London, England; Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Vienna, Austria; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil and La Fundacion Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico.

Stephen Friedman Gallery

The gallery’s presentation demonstrates a passionate, long-term interest in art from South America and the African diaspora. On display is a diverse selection of works by Juan Araujo, Tonico Lemos Auad, Melvin Edwards, Manuel Espinosa, Kendell Geers, Federico Herrero, Rivane Neuenschwander, Mira Schendel and Luiz Zerbini.

‘África’ (2020) a dynamic painting by renowned Brazilian artist Luiz Zerbini, draws on visual references from the artist’s surroundings in Rio de Janeiro as well as art history and pop culture. Zerbini’s solo exhibition ‘Fire’ is currently on display at Stephen Friedman Gallery until 1 April 2021. Another artist from Brazil, Rivane Neuenschwander, is known for work that explores language, nature, geography, the passing of time and social interactions. Neuenschwander is represented by ‘Notícia de jornal (prisão) / Tabloid Story (Prison)’ (2017) from an on-going series inspired by traditional Latin American Ex-voto paintings that she began in 2010.

Other highlights include a rare work from the 1960s by Argentine artist Manuel Espinosa; ‘Untitled’ which consists of rows of oval forms superimposed with circles depicted in shades of purple, ochre and blue. In the 1960s and 1970s, Espinosa created series of paintings and drawings by arranging squares and circles in repeating patterns. These variations investigated subtle effects of space, colour and optical sensations of depth and movement. Pioneer of contemporary African American art, Melvin Edwards is represented by ‘Untitled’ (1974). This work on paper relates to a body of works utilising barbed wire conceived by the artist for his solo exhibition at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 1970 – the museum's first show by an African- American sculptor. Rendered in ink and watercolour on paper, these works capture silhouettes of barbed wire and provide an intriguing counterpoint to the sculptural practice for which the artist is most well-known.

Venezuelan artist Juan Araujo explores Latin American architecture, art history and modernism in hyper-realistic paintings based on images sourced from archival materials. ‘Two greens between red and yellow’ (2020) a new oil on canvas, takes its inspiration from Josef Albers’ signature series ‘Homage to the Square’. Throughout the series Albers’ repetitive compositions explore various visual effects, investigating the interaction between colour, contrast and intensity. By emulating the work of Albers in this work, Araujo builds upon the relationship between colour and modernism that exist as encompassing themes within his practice.