CCA Wattis, San Francisco

Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts / 360 Kansas Street
CA 94103-5130 San Francisco

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artist / participant

press release

Alexandre da Cunha recycles discarded objects and defunct consumer items—everything from old furniture to beach towels and car wheel hubs—to create his sculptures and installations. These cheap, throwaway materials often take on a functional appearance. In a sense, Da Cunha improvises on the concept of the readymade by reusing everyday objects in ways that reflect on those objects' specific histories and aesthetics. The artist is concerned with issues of formalism, such as shape, technique, and materiality, but his practice also has an essential playfulness and humor. Moreover, it expresses a wider concern with the human condition, in particular a critique of the distribution of wealth in his native Brazil.

Born in 1969 in Rio de Janeiro, da Cunha now lives and works in London. He has had solo exhibitions at the Pacos das Artes, São Paulo (2005) and the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte (2005), while his work has been included in the Prague Biennial (2005) and the Venice Biennial (2003).

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Alexandre da Cunha