Maria Nepomuceno

7 May - 12 June 2010
Victoria Miro Gallery I
16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

Maria Nepomuceno's woven and beaded sculptures feel entirely self-sufficient. They're at once charming and mysterious, relaxed and vivacious, like the never-entirely-gentle Rio environment that produced them.

Holland Cotter, The New York Times


Victoria Miro is delighted to announce an exhibition of work by emerging Brazilian artist Maria Nepomuceno. Having recently opened an acclaimed solo exhibition at Magasin 3 in Stockholm - her first museum show in Europe - this will be the artist's first solo exhibition in the UK. Maria Nepomuceno's seductive sculptures and installations made of brightly coloured rope, straw and beads spread throughout the spaces they inhabit: they varyingly hang in hammock-like forms, drape down walls, sprawl across floors, or group together as constellations in a new and curious cosmos.

Maria Nepomuceno allows her materials to obey their own organisational logic, weaving them together in a process that presents seemingly infinite possibilities for the spiraling, circling and multiplying of forms. Inspired by ancient traditions and complex indigenous craft techniques, Nepomuceno pushes these into a wholly contemporary engagement with space and structure, form and concept. That the sculptures appear anthropomorphic and organic is essential to a reading of her work: the spiraling central to her process relates to the spirals occurring naturally throughout the universe, giving shape to entire galaxies as well as the blueprint for existence, DNA.

The sculptures bear a direct relationship to the human body, at times seeming familiar and almost functional, as though they are to be utilized for some as yet unlearned task, and at others appearing entirely alien, like unidentified microbes occupying new anatomical terrain. Nepomuceno's work draws on the modern history of Brazilian art and has a particular affinity with the ideas of Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, who established parallels between their own aesthetic systems and those of the real world, worked with everyday materials, and maintained that art must be subjective and vital.

Maria Nepomuceno is one of a young generation of Brazilian artists championed by A Gentil Carioca, the dynamic downtown Rio de Janeiro gallery founded by artists Marcio Botner, Laura Lima and Ernesto Neto.

Biographical details:
Born in 1976 in Rio de Janeiro, Maria Nepomuceno studied painting and drawing at the prestigious Parque Lage visual arts school before studying industrial design at the University of Rio de Janeiro and art and philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro.

Installation View, Maria Nepomuceno, Gallery I, Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London, N1 7RW, 2010