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Pedro Cabrita Reis, born in Lisbon, is renown for his numerous installations, made with all sorts of construction materials, either new or out of use such as bricks, doors, and neon lights. Pedro Cabrita Reis represented Portugal at the last Venice Biennale; his exhibition in the Giardini showed a large sized piece, architectural to a degree. A great number of exhibitions were devoted to him in Europe in 2004 (Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern; Frac de Bourgogne, Dijon and the Camden Arts Centre, London). Recently, the artist was invited to present a work specially conceived for the inauguration of the Naples Museum Palazzo delli Arti. In his first exhibition at the Nelson Gallery, Pedro Cabrita Reis will show entirely new pieces among which three mural works.
On the first floor, the work entitled The Unnamed Word #2 is made up of neon tubes, steel and a painted glass panel which somehow duplicates the actual artifact, which owes some of its virtual dimensions to the very complexity of its structure, where cavities (vacuums) alternate with labyrinths. The electrical wires suggest the idea of a permanent circulation, echoing the network of relations which is an ever present element in the artist's work. The sculptural quality of the work is enhanced by the steel framing structuring the space, expressing an idea of chaos, yet orderly, resolute and deliberate. The same idea is still stronger in the artist's mural works. Landscape, series II, #1, for instance, evokes the passing of time: the dialogue that takes place between the fixed window frame and the paint, deliberately scratched and scaled by the artist, is paralleled by the dialogue taking place in his constructions. The misleading opposition between deliberate and fortuitous elements is a permanent characteristic of our world: they actually feed each other. The drawings 3 verts, 1 rose and 3 jaunes, 1 rose (3 greens, 1 pink and 3 yellow, 1 pink) partake of the same tension, opposing the organic action spread casually on the almost entire paper surface, and the willingly structured shape of the pink painted rectangle.
On the second floor of the gallery, a work entitled A propos des lieux d'origine #1 shows a network of interweaving electrical wires, beams and bricks. The seemingly fortuitous order of these elements calls to mind roots and veins; the conceptual periphery of the whole, defined by the wire network, introduces the double notion of life and circulation. In such a context, the use of recuperated materials (or objets trouvés) is not innocent since it implies a double circulation, both in situ and between past and present.
Pedro Cabrita Reis will be present at the exhibition "Domicile", Musée de Saint-Etienne from 12 May onward and will show a new installation at Art Unlimited Basel, 14 - 20 June 2005.