Sonia Gomes: Symphony of Colours

Pinacoteca (Sao Paulo), Sep-23/Apr-24

‘Sonia Gomes: Symphony of Colours’ is Sonia Gomes’ show currently on display at the Pinacoteca do Estado museum, a top local art institution. It is a site-specific installation comprised of 34 hanging pieces by the artist born in the countryside of Minas Gerais state in 1948. The curator is Jochen Volz, the museum’s chief curator, who describes the pieces as assemblages.

The installation is held within the Octagon Project, a 20-year contemporary art project run by Pinacoteca (or Pina, as we call it) at its octagon, an 8-side central part of the 19th-century monumental building. Since the beginning of the 2000s, this central part has been devoted to commissioned artworks by local and international artists, who most frequently create site-specific pieces taking advantage of the spacious area and of the museum’s specificities – its collection, its location, and its history.

Symphony of Colours installation, Sonia Gomes, 2023

The show places 34 textile sculptures above visitors’ heads at different heights. Each of them is unique in its composition and appearance, as the artist deals with very special materials. The textiles she works with are nonpareil, as they are given by people to her – they are curtains, dresses, borders, bangs, towels, sheets, cords, trims, and ornaments. Through Gomes’ work, they become unmatched sculptures. The 34 works also carry beads, stones, and buttons.

The hanging pieces are astounding. Gomes’s works unite techniques and memories, creating pieces for the floor, the wall or, as in this case, for the ceiling. For a full experience, you should also go to the second floor and see the installation from another standpoint. The show has a special soundtrack: a track on guitar written by composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, a 20th-century artist who explored elements of Brazilian popular culture. The relation of Gomes’ works is also stressed by the title of this show – her works can lead to different emotions.

Gomes is a leading artist not only considering those who work with textiles. She exhibits locally and internationally. Her innovative works incorporate elements from the Afro-Brazilian culture and explore textiles in a very different way from what other Brazilian artists did. She was born in Caetanópolis, a small town with a relevant textile production.

Symphony of Colours installation, Sonia Gomes, 2023

Pinacoteca is a far-reaching museum focused mainly on Brazilian art. It was founded in 1905 by the local government and since its restoration in the 1990s has reached a world-class position in terms of exhibiting galleries, collections, and shows. It holds shows of local and international artists, curated by members of its curatorial team. In recent years, it has shown Denilson Baniwa, Haegue Yang, Léon Ferrari, and Grada Kilomba, amongst others. Currently, they have 5 other shows of contemporary artists and the long-term show of its collections that occupy many of its galleries.

Symphony of Colours installation, Sonia Gomes, 2023

This show will be on display until 14 April 2024. As Pinacoteca is such a relevant museum — with its temporary and long-term shows —, it is worth visiting it with some extra time. For some help in navigating it, book with London Art Walk a guided tour. We have a date with open bookings: 24 November 2023. On this date, we will guide you through the shows of the Argentinian Marta Minujín, the Brazilians Antônio Obá and Tunga, besides the one of Gomes. Be sure we will open new dates for group visits. And, if you want a private experience, you may book a bespoke tour with us – talk to us! We will be glad to help you better understand Brazilian art.

Luis Sandes to London Art Walk
November 2023