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Cao Guimarães: Wonders and Inventions

Society Contemporary
595 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor, 917 345 6541
Upper East Side
July 14 - August 27, 2011
Reception: Thursday, July 14, 5 - 7 PM
Web Site

Society Contemporary is proud to present its inaugural exhibition, Cao Guimarães: Wonders and Inventions, the artist’s first solo show in New York. Coinciding with a retrospective of Guimarães’ award-winning films organized by The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 during Brazil Premiere!, the exhibition will include two videos and select photographs from his most recognized imagery: the Gambiarras and Campo Cego series.

First produced in the late 1990s, Guimarães’ Gambiarras depict the ingeniously improvised and often humorous ways in which São Paulo citizens rework their surroundings to exploit the functionality of objects beyond their original purposes. Makeshift in their construction, the Gambiarras reveal the inevitable effacement of temporary objects. Above all, they recall the old adage widely popular in Latin America that identifies necessity as the mother of invention.

Campo Cego (Blind Field) undermines our contemporary dependance on road signs and other cautionary elements responsible for public order and safety. Yet, like in a dream, Campo Cego (Blind Field) takes us on a road where undecipherable signs appear to have been permanently swallowed up by the distinct pigmentation of Brazil’s natural terroir. Barely noticeable along the roads, the remnants of the signage becomes both beautiful and futile surrendering their contemporaneity to nature and thus forsaking the specificity of their design.

Cao Guimarães’ films reflect in an exemplary manner the intense encounter and circulation between documentary and contemporary art. His feature-length films are strongly marked by photography, experimental and video installations. Internationally recognized as a master filmmaker, Guimaraes has won several awards including: the “Lady Harimaguada de Oro – Best film” at the 9thFestival Internacional de Cine de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with the film “Andarilho (Drifter)”; in 2007 the award of “Best Film” at the 11th Festival do Filme Documentário e Etnográfico / Brasil, with the film “Andarilho (Drifter)”; in 2007, he was awarded “Best Director” at Rio Internatinal Film Festival with the film “Andarilho (Drifter)” and the award of “Best Iberoamerican Documentary” at 22th Guadalajara International Film Festival, with the film “Acidente (Accident)”. In 2006, he received the award “ABDeC of Best Documentary” at Rio International Film Festival, with the film “Acidente (Accident)”.

About Cao Guimarães

Cao Guimarães, filmmaker and visual artist, was born in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where he lives and works. He has exhibited his work at various museums and galleries such as Tate Modern, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art NY, Gasworks, Frankfurten Kunstverein, Studio Guenzano, Galeria La Caja Negra and Galeria Nara Roesler, and in prestigious art biennieals such as the XXV and XXVII São Paulo International Art Biennial, Insite Biennial 2005 (San Diego/ Tijuana).

His films have participated in various film festivals including: The Locarno International Film Festival (2004, 2006 and 2008), Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia (2007), Sundance Film Festival (2007), Cannes Film Festival (2005), Rotterdam International Film Festival (2005, 2007 and 2008), Cinema du Réel (2005), International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam – IDFA (2004), It’s All True (2001, 2004 e 2005), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival (2008), São Paulo International Film Festival (2004 e 2006), Rio International Film Festival (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006), among many others.

Guimarães work is included in public collections such as: Fondation Cartier Pour L’art Contemporain, Tate Modern, Walker Art Center, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, The Museum of Modern Art, Instituto Cultural Inhotim, amongst others.

INTRODUCING SOCIETY CONTEMPORARY Contemporary Art from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula

Society Contemporary specializes in contemporary art from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Based in New York, Society develops cultural dialogues that transcend geographical boundaries and challenge paradigms traditionally associated with Latin American Art. To this end, our exhibition program highlights the work of emerging and leading Latin American artists operating in an international context. As a new model merging international contemporary art and the local artistic community, Society’s Travel Grants will offer promising young artists the opportunity to produce innovative work connected to these regions.

Exhibitions are made possible through the support of Vornado Realty Trust and by individuals and organizations that champion cultural initiatives.
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