press release

The Visible World is Merely an Isolated Case
Featuring Guillaume Bresson and Ana Prata

Opening Reception: Friday, August 26, 6-8p
Exhibition Dates: August 26 – September 25, 2016
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6pm
Location: 120 Essex Street NY, NY 10002 (inside Essex Street Market)
Curated by Jodi Waynberg

Cuchifritos Gallery and Residency Unlimited are pleased to announce their sixth-annual collaboration, featuring the recent paintings of Guillaume Bresson and Ana Prata.

Bresson’s figurative work is closely related in style, technique and composition to the late-Renaissance and Baroque periods, while Prata’s approach is significantly rooted in the history of painting technique itself. Prata’s body of work, if considered as a whole, nearly dismantles any attempt to build an historical timeline to discuss her work in relation to the medium. Moving between and manipulating various styles—primitivism, cubism, expressionism, minimalism—Prata’s work becomes both quotation from the modern era and anti-historical.

Bresson’s work expresses a very similar tension. While the historical references are unavoidable when considering the surface of his paintings, a closer study is rewarded with a work that is nearly suspended in a dreamlike state. His frequent collaborations with dancers (both professionally trained and self-taught) create a captured movement; a liminal space between aggressive combat and relaxed rhythm. Combined with hyper-real depictions of anonymous urban architecture, spaces of modern consumption (i.e. McDonalds) and reference to the post-war mass housing outside of Paris, the works begin to transform into a surrealist dystopia, rather than a hero painting, as the style might suggest.

Though Bresson and Prata’s aesthetics appear quite different at first glance, several meaningful intersections begin to emerge with dedicated time; most notably the presence of movement in each of their practices. Bresson’s representation of movement as theater or performance is an interesting contrast to Prata’s emotive gestural work. With a storied history between painting and representation, particularly with the advent of photography as a more accurate form of documentation, this is an extremely powerful moment to consider the expanded place of painting within the overall identity of the medium.

A small publication will be produced in coordination with the exhibition, which will include several studies and drawings from each artist, revealing their processes for making work and illustrating the connection between their practices. The book will include a selection of photos of Bresson’s collaborators, as well as series of Prata’s black charcoal drawings that express the action and gesture of her body when developing the vocabulary of signs and symbols that appear throughout her work.