From September 1 through 29, 2012, Galeria Vermelho is presenting the new solo show by Nicolás Robbio, entitled “A força é limitada pela necessidade” (The force is limited by the need). Simultaneously, Tijuana is releasing the publications “Elements of Beauty”, by Carla Zacagnini, and “Abismo”, by Lucia Mindlin Loeb.
Having exhibited regularly at Vermelho since 2005, the artist is returning to occupy the gallery’s rooms with three new installations, one of them being a direct reference to the arrow presented in Maio, his first solo show at the gallery, seven years ago.
The symbolic world created by Robbio in Maio already foreshadowed his current vocabulary of images made up of diagrams, technical drawings and architectural elements. Isolated, juxtaposed or recombined, these elements suggest different forms of the perception and reading of representational systems, rife in the world today. The largest work at that show was a painting of a large black arrow, which escaped from the physical space allotted to the exhibition and invaded the space of the lower room, at that time occupied by a solo show by Rogerio Canella, thus suggesting two opposite poles: one of them full of light, represented by the white surface of the walls where Canella installed his photographs, and the other bereft of light and of objects, represented on the black walls.
A similar idea emerges in the work “Pelo princípio de erguer” (By the principle of standing up). In it, Robbio uses a wooden structure to divide the white cube of Vermelho into two parts, literally creating a new space: the lower part, accessible through the gallery’s ground floor, is totally without light; the upper one is illuminated but not accessible, and is occupied only by the sculpture of a wolf. Through the experience of gravity, Robbio creates a universe that goes beyond the physical one, that is, far beyond that which keeps man standing upright on the earth. For the artist, the force that keeps man on the ground is the same one that elevates him: his field of action is located in the intermediary space between these two extremes.
The materialization of these ideas also appears in the installation “A 90°” (At 90 degrees), which occupies Vermelho’s Room 2. In it, the artist continues to deal with the question of gravity, based on two extremes that seem to negate gravity. Installed on one of the walls of the room, the installation creates a map composed of straight lines, which under the effect of weights positioned at the ends of a complex network of ropes sustains the artist’s cosmology, or better put, his imaginary realm. In the installation, Robbio alters the established visual patterns, suggesting a revision of the intimacy we have with the logic of these already deciphered and catalogued systems, pointing to the impossibility of any total comprehension of their complexity.
The solo show is capped off with the installation “1+2+3+4”, where once again Robbio seeks to question the laws of physics. Made of wood, the artwork was positioned in a corner of Vermelho’s entrance hall and aims to annul the architectural imperative that for something to remain upright another element should function as a structure.
The questionings proposed at this solo show seem very timely in the current world, which suggests the surpassing of previous models of the relation between culture and society, based on the acceptance of opposite and often conflicting ideas. Using references from architecture, aesthetics, history, psychology and physics, Robbio espouses the thesis of a world full of nuances, arising from the confrontation between the rational and the subjective, between present and past, between appropriated and original, between individual and collective.
Nicolás Robbio – Selection of solo shows: Bandeira em branco não é bandeira branca – Galeria Vermelho – São Paulo – Brazil (2011); O Amanhã de Ontem não é Hoje – Programa Emissores Runidos – Episódio 1 – Fundação Serralves – Porto – Portugal (2009); Indirections – Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art – Nicosia – Cyprus (2008). Selection of group shows: Sextanisqatsi: desordem habitável – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey [MARCO] – Mexico (2012); 32º Panorama da arte Brasileira – Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM) – São Paulo – Brazil (2011); Para ser Construidos- MUSAC – Léon – Espanha (2010); 2° Trienal Poli/Gráfica De San Juan – Porto Rico (2009); – 28ª Bienal de São Paulo – Fundação Bienal de São Paulo – Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo – São Paulo – Brazil (2008).