Solange Pessoa, installation view of Longilonge, Ballroom Marfa, TX, 2019-2020
© Solange Pessoa, Courtesy of Ballroom Marfa, photo: Alex Marks
Broadcasts: Solange Pessoa at Ballroom Marfa

Blum & Poe Broadcasts presents a focus on the practice of Brazilian artist Solange Pessoa, in conjunction with her first US museum exhibition currently installed at Ballroom Marfa, Texas. Like many other museums today, Ballroom Marfa is now closed indefinitely—this Broadcast is intended to share significant work that would otherwise be on view to the public.

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Solange Pessoa, Untitled, 1994-2019
Linen bags, earth, minerals,charcoal, bones, flowers, poems, roots, leather, pigments, seeds, feathers, stones, fat
157 1/2 x 157 1/2 inches
Photo: Alex Marks
Solange Pessoa, Mundão II, 2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
Five Parts; 98 7/8 x 65 3/4 inches each
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, 2019
Ceramic
Nine parts; dimensions variable
Photo: Alex Marks

The title of the exhibition—Longilonge—refers to an invented word, found in the poetry of Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Pessoa repurposes this word to refer to the horizontal and mythic landscapes of both Marfa, Texas and her home state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Longilonge evokes a distant space or time, a longing for the unreachable, and a place for feelings and memories, a region of temporal textures.

Solange Pessoa, installation view of Longilonge, Ballroom Marfa, TX, 2019-2020
© Solange Pessoa, courtesy of Ballroom Marfa, photo: Alex Marks

“Fossils, archeological sites and cave paintings are all constants in my work. Perhaps the shadow-figures that appear in the drawings are part of this imaginary— the animals and plants, the powerful biodiversity of the Cerrado, the tropical savanna in parts of Minas Gerais. The fascinating character of the stones, the enigmatic and fantastic nature of the hinterlands of the sertão, the dry bushland in northeastern Brazil.”

Solange Pessoa, Ão-Ão, 2017
Bronze, fabric, hair
35 x 18 x 20 inches
Unique
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from Mimesma series, 2017
Soapstone
8 5/8 x 29 15/16 x 16 1/2 inches
Unique
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from Dionisia series, 2017
Soapstone
12 5/8 x 32 1/4 x 21 5/8 inches
Unique
Solange Pessoa, Ão-Ão, 2017
Bronze, fabric, feathers
32 x 30 x 18 inches
Unique

Pessoa’s expressive and telluric work draws inspiration from many sources: nature, the Baroque, dreams and the unconscious, Tropicalia, prehistoric cave paintings and carved tools, Land Art, traditional craft, ancestry, Surrealism, and poetry. These and many other references lie under the surface of a fully developed lifework wrought from sustained material investigation, intuitive curiosity, and an acute command of gesture and form. 

Solange Pessoa, installation view of Longilonge, Ballroom Marfa, TX, 2019-2020
© Solange Pessoa, courtesy of Ballroom Marfa, photo: Alex Marks

“I like things that happen, and works are transformed by forces over which I have no control. It’s important to me to be open to transformation.”

Solange Pessoa, Ão-Ão, 2017
Bronze, fabric, feathers, hair
25 x 21 x 18 inches
Edition 1 of 2, 1AP, Unique in a series
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Caveiras, 2016
Soapstone
15 3/4 x 14 1/2 x 28 3/8 inches
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches
Solange Pessoa, installation view of Longilonge, Ballroom Marfa, TX, 2019-2020
© Solange Pessoa, courtesy of Ballroom Marfa, photo: Alex Marks

“They belong to the present. They seem to update and reshape the past, they connect with the future. They reencounter eternity. The sculptures evolve with time, which acts upon them. The stones are alive, they have existed for millennia, and they will continue to exist perhaps for many more…”

Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from Dionisia series, 2017
Soapstone
12 5/8 x 38 3/16 x 27 3/16 inches
Unique
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mimesmas, 2016
Soapstone
14 1/2 x 26 3/8 x 24 7/8 inches
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches

Pessoa’s practice is deeply rooted in land, human and natural history. In this focused exhibition, she gathered together materials and iconography from distant but similar environments, creating a conversation between shared forms and interwoven cosmogonies. Five distinct bodies of work converged for the exhibition—displaying touch-points in the artist’s career and creating a connective tissue of imagery, ideas, and relationships between two distant places in North and South America: West Texas and Minas Gerais, Brazil, where the artist lives and works.

The first comprehensive English-language monograph on Pessoa’s work, edited by art historians Alex Bacon and Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, and featuring scholarship by Fajardo-Hill, Liz Munsell, and Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira, was published this month. The exhibition at Ballroom Marfa runs through May 24, 2020.

Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches
Solange Pessoa, Untitled, from the series Mundão I, 2018-2019
Mineral pigment on canvas
34 5/8 x 37 1/4 inches

“Materials exist in connection with thoughts and intuitions. They call us and choose us, they attract our perception and curiosity, and their untransferable nature and mysteries require research and close observation. They belong to the world and exist to be explored.”

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