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The Nelson-Freeman Gallery is pleased to present the second personal exhibition of Pedro Cabrita Reis. Born in Lisbon in 1956, Pedro Cabrita Reis is known for his many installations close to architecture using construction materials. The works of Pedro Cabrito Reis have been presented at many exhibitions on the international scene since the beginning of the 1990s. They were shown at the Documenta IX in Kassel (1992), at the 24th Biennale of Sao Paulo (1998), and they represented Portugal at the Venice Biennale in 2003. The True Gardens #6 (Graz) exhibition is devoted to the works of Pedro Cabrio Reis. It will be shown at the Kunsthaus of Graz, Austria until May 18, 2008 and will travel to the Foundation of Turin at the end of May.
His work is complex, and is defined by a highly individualized philosophical and poetic discourse. It encompasses a variety of mediums: painting, sculpture, photos, and installations composed of new or sometimes found materials. His constructions raise many questions about space, time, relation to things, and more simply the voyage that is life.
For this new exhibition, Pedro Cabrita Reis has chosen to present two new installations and a new photographic work. On the ground floor the « The Leaning paintings #5 » installation is displayed against the walls of the gallery, and takes possession of the space around it. The 4 glass plates completed by neon lights lean on the walls and are supported by pieces of wood. By means of a double interplay of transparency, the bright yellow crosses through the glass plates, which thus become a painting, whereas they simultaneously reflect the shapes and space of the gallery. The web of electric wires introduces the idea of life and movement, while the neon lights breathe in energy and vitality. The pattern of lines between the juxtaposed wires, neon lights and glass plates, accentuated by color, creates a rhythm, a very particular musical quality.
At the top of the staircase, the photo « Self-portrayed in the studio #10 » is part of a series of 12 images in which we see the artist’s arm holding materials used in his studio, and the some images show a crisscross of wires. The series introduces the installation called « It is never about balance #2 », a large metal beam 8 meters long resting on a base 1.17 meter high, spanning the space between one wall of the gallery and the other. This architectural installation, a sort of vestige or framework, introduces the passing of time and the fragile balance invoked in its title. A form of melancholy radiates from the installation. It calls upon the personal memory of the person looking at it, but also more generally upon our collective memory. The meeting between the present instant and the past raises questions. What might the work have been? What is the architecture that left this trace?
With these 2 installations, we find the basic lines of the works of Pedro Cabrita Reis. Architecture is never an end. These installations have a relation with the space in which they are presented, but they do not replace what already exists. They are presented as a recomposition or a new perception of space. The works are marked by silence and inwardness, by elements linked to the artist’s entire body of work. Silence and light enable us to meditate, and permeate the task of reminiscence.