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27 Nov 2014

KUNSTHALLE São Paulo presents Guillaume Pilet

Guillaume Pilet «Síntese humanista»


Vernissage: Friday 28 November 2014, 7pm Exhibition through 3 January 2015 Supported by: the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

Marina Coelho
+ 55 11 2339 8586

Rua dos Pinheiros, 411
05422-010 - São Paulo - SP

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Nature and Knowledge #3

Guillaume Pilet
«Síntese humanista»

Friday 28 November 2014, 7pm

Exhibition through 3 January 2015

KUNSTHALLE São Paulo invites artist Guillaume Pilet (*1984, Payerne, Switzerland) to present «Síntese humanista», his first solo show in Brazil, which closes the project Nature and Knowledge.

Guillaume Pilet is a very eclectic and curious artist, whose works escape styles and references, ranging from sculptures, ceramics, paintings, performances, installations, videos, wall paintings. Through his polymorphic works, that at a first glance can be taken as naive or even done by an amateur artist, Pilet critically questions the status of the art work and the cynicism existing in the art world.

Very much influenced by Gilles Deleuze's idea of 'becoming minority', Pilet's works resemble to be created for and in the place of someone from outside the art world, but at the same time, make allusion to art history as something that is haunting humanity, 'a ghost story for adults', as German art historian Aby Warburg wrote. Fascinated by things that he finds aesthetically strange and kitsch, the artist incorporates into his joyful and free artistic practice elements from popular culture, childish shapes, batik, body painting, representations of objects from daily life, emblematic figures, institutional critique, Pop Art, primitivism and its influence in the modernist movements, etc.

For the exhibition «Síntese humanista», Guillaume Pilet proposes a cannibalism in reverse: if – as described in the Manifesto Antropofágico of Brazilian modernist artist Oswald de Andrade – the Anthropophagic artists were 'eating' the European influences, digesting them, and throwing out new things, Guillaume Pilet now 'eats' the modernist architecture, the concrete art movement, the exuberant green nature, the ethnographic studies of indigenous people, and freely create his own art out of them.

The exhibition is created from the idea of bringing together different knowledges and synthesizing them into several elements. A wall painting, that refers to the modernist architecture, creates an optical illusion of the existence of other spaces inside the walls of the exhibition space. These illusionary inner spaces have their walls painted with a pattern developed by the artist as a continuation of his shaped canvas paintings, which allude to Op Art. But now this pattern is subverted by Pilet in a free hand drawing, responding to the psychedelism from Tropicalia.

The same pattern appears in the body painting – a new element that the artist add to his practice – realized in collaboration with a performer to refer to the indigenous' body paint practice. In the Brazilian Xingu region, each indigenous tribe has its own patterns, which are abstractions of animal patterns, such as the jaguar spotted skin or the shapes in the turtle shell. By using these patterns in the body painting practice they represent those animals in cosmological rituals. Pilet photographed and filmed the performer interacting with the structural lines of the wall painting, before adding the pattern to them. The video of the performance can be seen at the exhibition and the photo shooting pictures were added to the publication that the artist produced for the show.

This publication includes also part of the herbarium that the artist created with plants he collected during the first days of his visit to São Paulo. The herbarium, which is also on display on the exhibition, reflects on the humanistic tradition of collecting, and cataloging plants in order to produce knowledge and map the environment where humans are living.

And last but not least, the artist presents a raw clay sculpture representing Lina Bo Bardi, the Italian architect who very well employed the modernist concepts in the design of several constructions in Brazil. The social interaction enabled by the Brazilian modernist architecture is a very humanistic aspect that Guillaume Pilet pays tribute to. The sculpture stands on a red barrel, a ready-made that he uses as a plinth, referring to the iconic Sesc Pompéia cultural center building and its red elements, that used to be a barrel factory in former times, before it was renovated by the architect.

Curated by Marina Coelho.
Supported by: the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

About the artist

Guillaume Pilet (*1984, Payerne, Switzerland). Lives and works in Lausanne. He has studied visual arts at ECAL – école cantonale d'art de Lausanne, in Switzerland. Among the exhibitions in which he presented his work are: the solo show Learning to Love, Kunsthaus Glarus (2014); Fire it up: Ceramic as Material in contemporary sculpture, Dienstgebäude (2013), Zurich; the solo show Biologie de l'Art, Forma (2013), Lausanne; Hotel Abisso, Centre d'art contemporain (2013), Geneva; La Jeunesse est un art, Kunsthaus Argauer (2012), Aarau; the solo show Learning from aping: le cabinet préliminaire, La Placette (2011), Lausanne; the solo show L'art de la Fugue, Rotwand Galerie (2011), Zurich; the solo show A decade of Art, Galerie Valérie Bach (2010), Brussels; Swiss Art Award 2010, Basel. Among the awards he was granted are: Kiefer Hablitzel (2013); Swiss Art Award 2010; Cahiers d'artiste Pro Helvetia 2010; and Swiss Art Award 2009.

About Nature and Knowledge

The project Nature and Knowledge consists of a series of three exhibitions of foreign artists at KUNSTHALLE São Paulo, whose researches either approach science or are similar to scientific experiments, connecting art to nature, to human knowledge and to the scientific knowledge.

Rua dos Pinheiros, 411
05422-010 - São Paulo - SP - Brasil
T + 55 11 2339 8586

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Wednesday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm
Closed on holidays.