Marlon de Azambuja

Grand Façade

Nov 4 - Jan 5, 2012

Max Estrella Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition at a gallery in Madrid for the young Brazilian artist Marlon de Azambuja, after his arrival on the national scene with his stunning intervention in the city’s art space Abierto X Obras del Matadero just two years ago, and his recent solo show at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) earlier this year.

In this show, entitled Grand Facade, the artist addresses his examinations of contemporary art institutions, both the architectural   and the editorial side. Marlon de Azambuja plays with these giants of the institutional culture, intervening upon them, consuming them, abstracting and transforming them into new narratives of what they really say with their existence.

The show begins with a set of intervened books, available for consultation by the viewer. These widely known publications that select and proclaim the artists of the moment, have been altered by the deliberate removal of all the non-Latin artists, highlighting the fact that, although there is much talk of Latin art, in practice their presence is not as grand as expected. This very act of tearing, covering and highlighting these books interests the artist in the possibility of created a pirated publication, based on existing books and transforming them into ones.

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In the second room a series of paintings on large-scale photographs show images of the facades of renowned museums, which are turned into drawings by means of a laborious technique using a marker. The works are almost completely covered in darkness, highlighting the contours of these buildings and showing the existing culture of the facade in these institutions. With this act, Azambuja aims to demystify the essence of each structure, the prints they leave on their urban and cultural landscape.

Continuing with architectural and museological issues, the last room presents a piece from the series Jaulas/Museos (Cages/Museums), where a birdcage takes the shape of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, icon of all iconic museums, with this formalization the artist makes a playful hint toward the relationship between art and institution.

The exhibition closes with a new series of collages titled Nuevas ampliaciones (New Additions), where monographs of renowned architects are transformed into monstrous constructions that would have us reflect on the ever-growing trend in building contemporary wings, especially in the art world, each one larger than the next.

In the works of Marlon, elements do not stop being what they were: they may be displaced, contemplated from another angle, wrapped or lighted from within, but the object always retains its dignity that is the source of all and that is always respected in a work that is a new object, often undefined.

Marlon’s work operates at the level of what is essential and is able to raise a new world to another world through simple interventions, escaping from the given lines and I live in a wider potential lines, adding a sense of humor contemplation, offering an economy of means that makes the artist is able to convey to the viewer the same flexibility that has been raised with the process.

Marlon de Azambuja (Brazil, 1978) is one of the most prominent emerging artists worldwide. Among his solo exhibitions include The Construction of the Icon, at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; Editora Calle, Galeria Marilia Razuk in São Paulo, Brazil; Niveles, Espai Quatro, Casal Solleric, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Sculptural Potential, Matadero, Abierto X Obras, Madrid, Spain; Concrete Movement, Furini Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy.

His work has been part of group shows as 8th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Bologna Art First, Pinacoteca di Bologna, Italy, 12th Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt; Synergies MACUF, La Coruna, Spain; Kierkegaard’s Walk, Gallery Razuk Marilia, São Paulo, Brazil; Des-Habitable Cultural Center of Spain, Lima, Peru; I Bienal del Fuego, Caracas, Venezuela.

Marlon’s works are present in collections such as the Minsitry of Culture of Spain; Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Gran Canaria, Spain; Museum of Contemporary Art of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil; Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Curitiba, Brazil; OTR Collection Sabadell Bank Collection, Madrid, Spain; and the Nomas Foundation in Rome, Italy.

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