Rivane Neuenschwander: Trôpego Trópico. Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

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Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present ‘Trôpego Trópico’, a new series by Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander comprising ten paintings on black paper. Informed by the history of Latin American conceptualism, Neuenschwander creates experimental works using fragile and unassuming media.

This presentation is part of a body of work created since the Covid-19 pandemic that continues Neuenschwander’s longstanding exploration of fear. The works depict anthropomorphic creatures entwined in violent embrace. Reptiles, insect-like figures, and female bodies fuse in rhythmic sequences. Their vivid colour and robust forms draw on 17th century Japanese erotic wood cuts as well as Cordel folk literature, popular in Brazil’s Northeast region.

Drawing on myriad cultural references, Neuenschwander explores the weaponisation of fear as a method of social control. The stylised monsters recall narratives of colonial discovery, where exoticised visions of the tropics and alleged ritual sacrifice were used to justify imperialism. Allusions to rape also evoke the brutality of Portuguese settlers against local populations. This dialectic reflects Brazil’s colonial legacy and the complexities of coping with both objectification and self-definition through a foreign perspective.

About the artist

Rivane Neuenschwander was born in 1967 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.

This presentation follows her solo mid-career survey show at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz in November 2021. Neuenschwander’s film ‘Quarta-Feira de Cinzas’ is on view in Tate Modern’s current collection display.

Neuenschwander has exhibited widely at institutions including NCArte, Bogotá, Colombia (2018); ‘Perez Art Museum, Miami, Florida, USA (2018); Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2017); SPACE, Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, Texas, USA (2016); Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London, England (2015); São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, Brazil (2014); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, USA (2014); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2013); Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, Norway (2012) and Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, California, USA (2012). In 2010 she was the subject of a mid-career survey ‘A Day Like Any Other’, which originated at the New Museum, New York.

Neuenschwander’s works are included in prominent collections internationally including: Tate, London, England; Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Vienna, Austria; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil and La Fundacion Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico. In 2013 Neuenschwander received the 6th Yanghyun Prize in Korea.

About Stephen Friedman Gallery

Stephen Friedman Gallery represents exceptional emerging and midcareer artists from around the world. Since its inauguration in 1995, the gallery has been based in Mayfair on Old Burlington Street. The gallery now has three spaces in which it hosts solo and group exhibitions throughout the year. Additional works can be viewed by appointment in private rooms and office spaces. There is also a facility to exhibit outdoor sculpture in a landscaped private garden.

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