8 September 1987 - 3 October 1987
Opening Reception 8 September 1987 8pm
Artist Studio Project: Machado Ivens
Over the past month Brazilian artist Ivens Machado has fabricated new sculptural works using concrete and steel rods for the Artist Studio Projects. In keeping with artistic concerns that have developed since the early 1970’s, Machado incorporates rich pigmentation and organic forms. “I do not aspire to the position of ‘reproducer’. A paternal relationship between art history and my work does not pre-occupy me, although I recognize its existence. Rather, it is in the realm of indistinct nocturnal pleasures that I live the process of artistic creation.”
– Ivens Machado
Ivens Machado has exhibited internationally and within his native Brazil since 1966, creating installations, book works, video and sculpture. He resides for an extended period each year in Italy, exhibiting in Milan, Venice and Turin where he shows with Galeria Tucci Russo. Ivens Machado’s work has received international critical acclaim in Brazilian publications as well as Artforum, Art in America and Flash Art.
Ivens Machado, Sculpture, Mercer Union, Until October 3
Now Magazine, September 10-16, 1987
Brazilian artist Ivens Machado is a bit of a maverick and whenever possible, he disassociates himself from other artists. He resists looking at their art or visiting museums. Dividing his time between Rio de Janeiro and northern Italy, Machado tries not to be influenced by external forces, especially when preparing new work.
Invited by Mercer Union as part of their Artists Studio Projects (an annual open competition for new work, usually specific to the interior of their gallery), Machado has been in Toronto since the beginning of August.
He is preparing five large abstract sculptures, unlike any others seen in this city. Using steel rods and concrete, he colours with earth tone pigments, he mixes, pours and molds his untitled forms in a crude and rudimentary manner. With only his hands as tools, he bends the steel rods into shape over his knees and smooths the concrete surface.
Machado’s work is invariably compared to architecture, partly because reinforced steel and concrete are the basis of modern construction. Some of his sculptures even look architectural–for instance the whimsical “mud hut” perched precariously atop four six foot high wooden stilts.
A self-taught former art instructor, Machado now makes a living through his art. At the age of 45, (and looking at least 10 years younger) he enjoys an international reputation, showing at the well-respected Piéro Cavellini gallery in Milan. An exhibition at Brazil’s important Sao Paulo Biennial Art Fair will open in October.
Machado’s sculpted art forms are organic. A massive “limb” emerges from the wall and undulates through space, pushing its weight against the floor. Another is a rather elegant six-foot high steel frame or “rib cage,’ capped with an ochre-coloured cement hood embedded with broken pieces of decorative tile.
Reluctant to acknowledge any direct “meaning” to his primitive yet remarkably appealing sculptures, Machado describes the energy that inspires him.
“I have a very physical relationship with my work. I like the primitiveness of the cement. It’s not a very beautiful material and it certainly won’t do everything you want it to. The challenge for me is that very resistance.
Whenever I get an image in my head, the cement works against me. The tension that is created is exactly what I like about the material. I’m sure if I worked with an easier material, my art would become very baroque!”