Iran do Espírito Santo

30 May-6 Sep 2024
PV 30 May 2024, 6-8pm

London W1S 4AX


Mazzoleni, London presents the exhibition Iran do Espírito Santo, in collaboration with Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel. Open from 30 May to 6 September 2024, the exhibition marks Iran do Espírito Santo’s first solo show in London in 10 years and is composed of two concise bodies of work: a group of watercolours and a group of sculptures. The exhibition deals with themes of domesticity: ideas of enclosure, disclosure, light, chance and absence.
Espirito Santo (b.1963, Mococa, Brazil) initially worked as an architect’s assistant and a photographer’s assistant, specialising in black and white photography. He then developed his current artistic practice, while also working as an illustrator for several years. His architectural background is evident within his work, with Brazilian modernist architecture and his home of São Paulo influencing both form and colour within his oeuvre. His muted, monochromatic palette emerged from São Paulo’s concrete landscape, with the organised geometry of modernist architecture translated into the precise aesthetic of his compositions, much like his experience with black and white photography.
In his debut exhibition at Mazzoleni, Espírito Santo presents four sculptures which utilise distinct materials: stone, glass and metal. Each sculpture presents an accurate representation of a real object’s shapes and proportions, while simultaneously playing with the scale and materiality. For three decades this has been a constant strategy for the artist, exploring ordinary objects that are usually neglected due to their banality. With the restriction of the materials, Espírito Santo converges the tangibility of matter and the conceptual nature of artificial objects, using geometrical definitions that are implicit in them. The material’s density and weight conflict with the image quality of the sculptures, as exemplified in Luz Negra (2022), where the hyperreal finishing, not found in a functional light bulb, is elevated from the ordinary to the realm of auratic icon.
My process of making sculptures involves a return to the design project, that is, a re-idealization of certain objects, which are mostly anonymous. It’s an essentially different operation from using a found object, a readymade, or making a cast of an object. My sculpture is not indexical. Instead of reproducing an actual object, it alludes to its technical drawing, to the conception of its shape and dimensions. 
- Iran do Espírito Santo, 2021
In a separate space, a selection of watercolours on paper are exhibited, which go further to explore the intricacies involved in Espírito Santo’s work. These works are also created from meticulous observations of real objects. Luz Negra IX (2021) moves to reawaken us from our habitual indifference towards the everyday, instead communicating the beauty that can be found in the mechanics of human existence. The artist’s watercolours, a traditionally fluid medium, are controlled and contained and just like the sculptures, are composed of basic geometrical forms that are gathered to create a recognisable sign. Espírito Santo explains that “In many of my works, abstraction and concreteness are brought together as two poles that parallel the human existential condition, which is compulsorily subject to concrete reality and abstract thinking.” 

Installation views