Pietrina Checcacci, 1941, Evaterra, 1971
Pietrina Checcacci: táticas do corpo
Jun 4 – Jul 14, 2024
Galatea
São Paulo, Brazil

“Of the body. But what is the body?” one reads in the first lines of Ferreira Gullar’s Poema Sujo [Dirty Poem], written in 1975 during the poet’s period of exile. In the work, the physical body is placed into question, re-elaborated, and re-evaluated at a moment of fracture of the social body. How does this body, “this bone that I can’t see,” look and is looked upon in moments of tension and censorship? And how is it able to be so mysterious as a form, filled with folds and creases? The beginning of Pietrina Checcacci’s career witnessed the outbreak of the military dictatorship in Brazil, which did not go unnoticed in her work. If at first her interest in the human figure was manifested in the representation of groups of people, as mentioned in the epigraph, this approach was precisely concerned with the body in a social sphere. Over time, the artist moved in the direction of the poet’s question, delving into the minutiae of the human body – more specifically, the female body.

[ . . . ]

However, the erotic dimension of this skin that is displayed has often been denied by the artist. A question of censorship, perhaps? In any case, it was an aspect present in the paintings of many Brazilian artists active at the time, in line with demands for the recognition of women as desiring subjects brought about by the second wave of feminism that emerged in the United States in the 1960s. Women were then seen representing women’s bodies in a multiplicity of forms hitherto unprecedented in Brazilian art – Wanda Pimentel, Teresinha Soares, and Regina Vater are prime examples of this turning point. However, accepting this exercise in freedom was not so simple, as can also be inferred from the fact that Pietrina omitted her first name from the signatures of most of her works produced until a certain point in the 1970s, leaving only, Checcacci.

Critics also perceive a diversity of references and dialogues in her work, as well as a connection with hyperrealism, which was on the rise at the same time. In interviews, she also denies a voluntary connection to this movement: “I’m not a hyperrealist either. I don’t start from photography, but from sketching. I have nothing against hyperrealism, but I make a point of not being one.” Because of the distortions caused by ultra-close details of the body, as well as compositions that unite decontextualized elements (the rope, the butterfly), she may be associated with certain approaches to surrealism, regarding which she comments: “I make a point of remaining in the real. I know I’m on a tightrope, very close to the surreal. But I’m attentive, observing the human being.” So, again, what is this human body of Pietrina’s? It is not the body of the abject, the obscene, and the formless, to evoke the debate brought by the North American magazine October in the 1990s. It is not the same skin exposed to violence portrayed by Nan Goldin, nor Cindy Sherman’s pastiche body, nor the scatological matter of Andres Serrano. If the formless consists of the ruin of good form, if it seeks to “debase and put in disorder any taxonomy,” the human body for Pietrina, even when placed in erotic tension, even when stripped of its noble parts (you see much more foot than head), it is a body that is elevated by art, or that her art wants to elevate.

Pietrina Checcacci: taticas do corpo
Jun 4 – Jul 14, 2024
Galatea
Sao Paulo, Brazil

  • Mikiko Hara: Small Myths
    Publication
    Chose Commune
    International

    Mikiko Hara has her own way of secretly capturing the strangers who cross her path: a young man on the train, a couple holding hands, a little girl playing in a park… Sometimes their eyes meet briefly as she presses the shutter, but Mikiko Hara does not exchange with her subjects. Yet, these portraits reveal something infinitely personal, as if the photographer and her subjects were bound by an invisible pact (more…)

  • Chantal Joffe
    Artist
    Featured Profile

    Chantal Joffe brings a combination of insight and integrity, as well as psychological and emotional force, to the genre of figurative art. Hers is a deceptively casual brushstroke. Whether in images a few inches square or ten feet high, fluidity combined with a pragmatic approach to representation seduces and disarms. (more…)

  • Dia Center
    New York / Beacon, USA
    Featured Profile

    Dia Center was founded in New York City in 1974 by Philippa de Menil, Heiner Friedrich, and Helen Winkler to help artists achieve visionary projects that might not otherwise be realized because of scale or scope. To suggest the institution’s role in enabling such ambitions, they selected the name “Dia,” taken from the Greek word meaning “through.” (more…)

  • Helena Uambembe: On the site of the Okavango
    Jun 7 – Jul 28, 2024
    Galerie Anton Janizewski
    Berlin, Germany

    The Okavango River demarcates the border between Angola and Namibia across a stretch of more than 400 kilometers. This boundary between the two countries is fortified by the thousands of crocodiles that live in the river. The uncle of Angolan-South African artist Helena Uambembe also once guarded this border. After fleeing civil war-torn Angola, he and the rest of Uambembe’s family lived on the southern side of the Okavango in what was then South West Africa as part of the 32nd Regiment of the South African Apartheid Army (more…)

  • Calida Rawles: Away with the Tides
    Publication
    DelMonico Books
    International

    Merging hyperrealism, poetic abstraction and the cultural and historical symbolisms of water, Los Angeles–based artist Calida Rawles (born 1976) creates unique portraits of Black bodies submerged in and interacting with bright, mysterious bodies of water. The water, itself a sort of character within the paintings, functions as an element that signifies both physical and spiritual healing, as well as historical trauma and racial exclusion. (more…)

  • Shuang Li: I’m Not
    May 1 – Aug 25, 2024
    Swiss Institute
    New York, USA

    Swiss Institute (SI) presents I’m Not, the first institutional solo exhibition by artist Shuang Li, featuring newly commissioned sculpture and video installations. Li’s work explores how language, relationships and identities are formed and mediated through screens and the internet. For I’m Not, Li delves into her own life as a fan to ruminate on how these technologies inform the social bonds and materiality of fandom (more…)

SUBMIT YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS
Visit our New Announcement Submission page > Announcement Submission page >