Mendes Wood DM in collaboration with Peres Projects is proud to present FUTURISMO, a group show with new works by Dalton Gata, Paolo Salvador, Manuel Solano, and Richard Kennedy. This exhibition balances multiple temporalities as the artists explore and weave together themes such as transformation and emergence with memory and identity. The featured works span painting, sculpture, and video and build up a momentum and propulsion towards the future while recognizing that speculative projects always build upon recycled elements of our cultural histories, mediated by our personal experiences.
The sleeping figure in Aquí duermes (2022), is lit by a soft pink sky. The direction and curves of the limbs are mirrored by the feline figure suggesting that the human is protected by the animal. In Paolo Salvador’s works knowledge is represented in material form as an animal. The companions inhabit a liminal space below the horizon – the feline embodies a wisdom that serves as a guide for the human figure, perhaps navigating the pathway towards the horizon.
Dalton Gata’s large scale works visualize a pluriverse that could exist across the threshold. His sumptuous paintings are infused with energy, populated by characters drawn from both his own life alongside those from popular culture and surrounded by dense landscapes. Full of color and detail, the viewer is drawn into Gata’s hybrid spaces where the anthropocene is destabilized.
Another artist who explores the nuances of identity and plurality, Manuel Solano examines the role of memory in subjectivity and collective histories. Their videos and paintings playfully assemble an auto-fictional portrait. Referencing both personal histories and popular culture, their practice assembles a vision of the artist today through an investigation of the past – subsequently building a new archive for their future self.
Combining western art history, popular culture and folk traditions, Richard Kennedy’s new paintings materialize their performance and operatic practice through gestural swipes of acrylic paint that incorporate texts from their librettos. The artist’s signature vibrant palette and rolling textures are then deconstructed, by cutting the canvas into long strips that are woven back together. The work in effect is destroyed and then reassembled under new terms – by pursuing the folk tradition of weaving while also suggesting a strategy of remixing which makes references to music history. The resulting works are reminiscent of abstract afrofuturism – rooted in African American histories these are dynamic abstract paintings about transformation and renewal.
FUTURISMO presents speculative and transformative works that address and respond to feelings of uncertainty and the unknown. This presentation, delves into the subcutaneous influences of environment, culture and history by invoking neo-surrealism, magical thinking and afrofuturism to assemble fantastical visions of future worlds.