Participating in the
59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia
The Milk of Dreams
Curated by Cecilia Alemani
On the occasion of the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Solange Pessoa presents a series of fourteen paintings and fifty-five soapstone sculptures in the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Arsenale.
Pessoa’s work stands out for its density and abundance. Her organic compounds are flush with the pulsations of life, or they can become subdued as in the calm of death. The artist’s animate forms break with the geometric shapes that have been studied and revered by her generation in Brazil. Pessoa is, instead, immersed in a primordial aesthetic and an art practice accessed through obsessive stone carving and shaping as well as symbolic, monochromatic depictions related to the human, plant, and animal kingdoms.
The concepts of time, intuition, and primordial memory guide Pessoa’s output—the creatures of her paintings recall those of prehistoric cave paintings; her soapstone sculptures conjure mollusk fossils or ancient tools of stone. Her works are presented as recollections: pre-linguistic marks that denote meaning and presence, existing in a singular and subversive realm of contemporary art, at once speaking both to universality and the bizarre.
About La Biennale di Venezia
The 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, titled The Milk of Dreams after a book of the same name by surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, is grounded in many conversations with artists held in the last few years. The questions that kept emerging from these dialogues seem to capture this moment in history when the very survival of the species is threatened, but also to sum up many other inquiries that pervade the sciences, arts, and myths of our time. How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards the planet, other people, and other life forms? And what would life look like without us?