Our North is the South

21 August - 23 October 2021
Bergamin & Gomide is proud to present the exhibition Our North is the South, with essays by curator Tiago Mesquita and Paul Hughes, from August 21 to October 23, 2021. There are Andean textiles, and around 30 artists, which explore the relationship between art and craft, presenting a panorama of works from our continent from pre-Columbian times to nowadays. Weaving is among the first artistic activities of humanity, playing a fundamental role in the creative evolution and representation of the archetypes that populate our collective imagination. In the preColumbian Andean societies, textiles could be destined for everyday use or as offerings to the gods in rituals or commercial transactions. However, the legacy of these works reveals to us something even more important, the memory of a millenary iconography. Our North is the South departs from textiles produced by the Inca, Huari, and Nazca cultures in the Andes region - which today covers the territories of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile - relating them to the experimentation with geometric forms carried out by the 20th century avant-garde and several contemporary artists in Latin America.

The contact between different works seeks to enhancenew ways of thinking about the visual production of our continent. Thus creating dialogues beyond European currents, as will be possible to observe in the works by Joaquín Torres García and Vicente do Rego Monteiro, whose decorative repertoire of Latin American populations seemed a harbinger of constructive reasoning.

These elements can also be seen in works such as Mäcuïli (2021) by the Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, who elaborates his abstract language based on symbols and cultural conceptions of Mesoamerican cosmogonies. Also, in Montez Magno's works Trilogia nº 1, nº 2 e nº 3 (1967), which are based on indigenous ornamentation; and in María Freire's Formas Rojas (1961), which, although not explicitly derived, emulates aspects of Amerindian production. 

On the other hand, artists such as Rubem Valentim, Jorge dos Anjos, Madalena dos Santos Reinbolt and Magdalena Jitrik, work with elementary and regular shapes from elements of religious or popular cultures, whether from religions of African origin, from rural Brazilian life, or the visuality of industrial workers.

There are also works by Afonso Tostes, Amílcar de Castro, Celso Renato, and Héctor Zamora, which approach Andean textiles through other correlations, such as those between work, form, and material. The link with the weaving technique can also be seen through the patterns, which find approximations with works by Lygia Pape and Mira Schendel.

Part of the artists in this group show are exponents of the South American abstract and geometric avant-garde, among them Lygia Clark, Sergio Camargo, Milton Dacosta, Willys de Castro, Hélio Oiticica, Aluísio Carvão, and Amilcar de Castro, with historical works produced during the Concrete and Neo concrete art movements.

According to curator Tiago Mesquita: "Supposedly neutral elements lose their proclaimed universality when seen in different contexts. Thus, the uses of those elements become more historical, particular, contradictory – therefore, more interesting. More idealist, platonic interpretations like to imagine that formal, symbolic, or narrative recurrences occur. They would echo of a universal dimension of humanity, of a fundamental element of consciousness, from transcendental spirituality to historical, cultural, geographical, and social changes. Even though this text does not undertake theoretical leaps, it is not too much to affirm that this exhibition takes the opposite path. What is of interest are less the recurrences and more the possible variations, the contrasts, recompositions of the use of lines in South America." Our North is the South is a project that has been in development for about two years, in collaboration with Paul Hughes Fine Arts gallery and organized by Tiago Mesquita, Thiago Gomide, and Bruna Grinsztejn. Bergamin & Gomide's intention with the exhibition is to promote art from our continent, highlighting local and Latin American production to a broad and plural audience. The group show also includes a catalog, and the exhibition set design is signed by Entre Terras studio.

With works by: Afonso Tostes, Alfredo Volpi, Angelo Venosa, Aluísio Carvão, Amilcar de Castro, Antonio Dias, Celso Renato, Delba Marcolini, Emanoel Araújo, Fátima Neves, Franz Weissmann, Gabriel Orozco, Héctor Zamora, Hélio Oiticica, Ivan Serpa, Jandyra Waters, Joaquín Torres García, Jorge dos Anjos, Judith Lauand, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Madalena dos Santos Reinbolt, Magdalena Jitrik, María Freire, Marioly Rosas Figueroa, Milton Dacosta, Mira Schendel, Montez Magno, Pedro Reyes, Rubem Valentim, Sergio Camargo, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Vicente do Rego Monteiro, Willys de Castro, and from the Inca, Huari e Nazca cultures