Thomas Dane

José Damasceno

15 Mar - 22 Apr 2006

15 March – 22 April 2006

Thomas Dane Gallery are pleased to announce the first UK solo exhibition of Brazilian artist José Damasceno. Known for his large-scale sculptures and installations using a variety of unorthodox materials and procedures, Damasceno deconstructs, transforms, multiplies and accumulates common objects such as pencils, cigarettes, strings and hammers. Creating hybrid pieces that combine sculpture with wall drawing, the artist transforms the familiar into something new with synthesis, transformation, transportation and generosity.

During his first visit to London, Damasceno was greatly impressed how deeply music and dance are linked with the capital. For the exhibition, the artist will create a monumental three-dimensional diagram of a dancefloor; both a metaphor for dancing and allegory of dancing, using thick marble cut-outs of male and female steps, accumulated on the floor as they re-trace a dance.

Damasceno’s practice poses exciting new relationships between form and process, networks and diagrams, always aiming to surprise and disorientate the spectator. For InfraMarket, Damasceno will also execute a large wall-diagram, or ‘Organogramas’, using rubber stamps bearing the words Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Damasceno’s imaginative, playful and surreal approach to sculpture is connected to a very Brazilian trend in modern and contemporary sculpture first encountered in the 1950s and 1960s in the work of Sergio Camargo and the ‘Neo-Concretists’ Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape and Helio Oiticica. Their aim at ‘pure artistic expression’ transformed traditional sculptural medium into ever-mutating, unstable, participatory and even therapeutic objects. With them and another more recent generation of Brazilian artists such as Cildo Meireles, Tunga and José Resende, Damasceno shares a constant interest in alchemies and transformations, using an organic, bodily aesthetic alongside geometric, and often ‘trompe l’oeil’ realisations.

As Damasceno integrates photography; both his own and found imagery, into his work, his practice begins to escape classification. Three works in the exhibition will reveal the nature of this practice which combines photography with collage, seeming to extend the power of his three-dimensional creations into a broader reflection on the nature of sculpture. José Damasceno will be giving a talk at the ICA on 13 March with Jens Hoffman, 7:30 - 9pm.

Editors’ Notes
Jose Damasceno

Jose Damasceno was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1968 where he continues to Live and work.

Damasceno studied Architecture at Santa Úrsula University, and was selected for the 51st Venice Biennale. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Distrito Cu4tro Galeria de Arte, Madrid, Project NYC, The Project LA, Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Projeto Respiração, Fundação Eva Klabin, Rio de Janeiro, Culturgest, Porto, Portugal and Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo. Damasceno was included in the XXV Bienal de Sao Paulo in 2002, and will take part in the Biennale of Sydney later this year.

Tags: Sergio Camargo, Lygia Clark, José Damasceno, Cildo Meireles, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, José Resende, Tunga