artist / participant
Pedro Cabrita Reis (born Lisbon, 1956) is Portugals leading conceptual artist, and his significant contribution to contemporary art was acknowledged in 2003 when he represented his country at the 50 th Venice Biennale. Reis is interested in mans relationship to architecture and the fabricated environments in which we live. His sculptures are constructed from carefully selected industrial materials, including fluorescent tubing, glass, and steel. The relationships between the materials present competing ideas and unexpected juxtapositions: the rational and irrational; order and chaos; the organic and the fabricated; the referential and the abstract. The materials carry associations of memories and a prior history.
For his first exhibition at Haunch of Venison Reis has created a new body of work, including sculptures, paintings and drawings. The relationship of the works to the space they are shown in is an important element of his practice but these works, unlike most of his previous exhibitions, are not site-specific. The exhibition includes three sculptures the first, Compound # 3, on the ground floor is a tower of rusted steel tubes. On the second floor, True Gardens # 4 (London), a glass, fluorescent light, wood and aluminium sculpture spreads across the polished wooden floor, its electric wires curling in loops over and around the other elements. In the Atrium gallery is Compound # 4, a polished aluminium sculpture.
The climax of the exhibition is a group of five large-scale monochrome paintings in sombre dark colours of green, brown, black, blue and oxblood. The works are presented behind glass, creating perspectival boxes that reflect the room in which they are sited. On close inspection the monochrome fabric makes its material presence felt and the viewers gaze flits between seeing their own image and the works materiality. The massive glass surfaces and aluminium frames give them a sense of being large windows, further complicating their relationship to reality.
Reis has had numerous solo shows worldwide, and in the UK he has shown to widespread critical acclaim at BALTIC (2002) and the Camden Arts Centre (2004). The exhibition is accompanied by a new book, PCR London, that surveys the artists four London projects to date. The book includes an essay by art critic, Sarah Kent, and an interview with the artist by David Batchelor.
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Pedro Cabrita Reis