Thursday, 3 September 2009


Philip, 2009, ink and acrylic on cardboard, 27 x 28 cm

Swallow Street presents:
Erika Verzutti
Opening Thursday 3 September, 6–8pm

Erika Verzutti
Opening: reception Thursday 3 September, 6 – 8 pm
Exhibition: 4 September – 3 October 2009

Erika Verzutti’s new works are examples of her ongoing interest in sculpture as a way of connecting art-making with objects from everyday life. She distorts and reassembles simple objects from art and nature using techniques such as casting, moulding and assembling. Often the sculptures maintain the image of the hand of the artist, with mistakes and accidents, and hand-manipulated surfaces amongst detailed casting.

Erika Verzutti cites the idea of a ‘fertile practice’, a literal organic growth of sculpture from top to bottom, as demonstrated by the use of objects such as pineapples, flowers, vases and octopi – things that structurally start at one point and grow outwards, as if the work could grow bottom to top, according to its own rules; the growth of sculpture alongside growth in nature. Art materials, animals and vegetables are presented with equal significance, the nature and signs of sculptural praxis are kept visually evident in the work as a way of keeping the practice of art-making interwoven with the subjects of everyday life.

Verzutti uses classical and traditional artistic media such as cast bronze, and ceramics, watercolours and oils, and contrasts them with the use of craft and domestic materials such as modeling clay and plasticine, rope, clay, and office stationary and incorporates the very objects used to make the works back into the sculptures. Constantly contrasting medium and
subject, Verzutti plays with the symbolism of the object and how she has made it, as an investigation into the hierarchies in objects found around us, and that which we acknowledge as art.

By reintroducing an element that is traditionally loaded with the mythology of the artist - such as the painter’s brush - back into the work, alongside fruit and pieces of rope, she addresses the power of representation implicit in objects. By contrast, the vegetables, things that are seen as humble and basic, are treated in the same way.

For her second solo exhibition in London, Erika Verzutti has created several sculptures and a painting that combine more traditional art materials like clay with paint brushes, rulers and pencils. The works sit between figuration and abstraction with a playful, casual and unfinished aesthetic. The juxtaposition of dissimilar styles with accidental gestures combine to create works that are a humorous and invigorating contribution to contemporary sculptural practice.

Erika Verzutti was born in São Paulo, Brazil, 1971
where she currently lives and works. She studied at Universidade Mackenzie, São Paulo, Brazil, and undertook postgraduate studies at Goldsmiths in 2000. Verzutti has had solo exhibitions at Misako and Rosen, Tokyo, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, and Blow de la Barra, London, and has exhibited in numerous international group shows including “Legende” curated by Alexis Vaillant at Centre Artistique et Culturel, Chamarande, France, France, “Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art” curated by Francesco Manacorda at Barbican, London, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), Japan, and MCO Arte Contemporânea, Porto, Portugal. She is currently undertaking a residency at Studio Voltaire until November.

About Swallow Street:
Swallow Street is an exhibition space for emerging artists, with a programme selected by London based curator Sarah McCrory. It is an autonomous project supported by Hauser & Wirth.

Swallow Street
3–5 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DE
Tel: +44 (0)7930 399203
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm

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