Ana Prata's third solo exhibition at the gallery, Olho nu [Naked eye], features 24 small and large-format paintings. The show expands on the two-dimensional medium by putting it in direct dialogue with the exhibition space through a visual project conceived by the artist alongside Carol Tonetti and Vitor Cesar, who are responsible for the exhibition design. The exhibition also marks the launch of the book Defeitos para o mundo dos sérios [Defects for the Serious World], a partnership between the artist, gallery, and Ubu Editora, which includes essays by curators Livia Benedetti and Ivo Mesquita, as well as an interview in dialogue with fellow curator Tiago Mesquita. Ana Prata (1980, Sete Lagoas, MG) develops her research through dynamic experimentation. Prata's practice combines the use of historical references — such as modernist repertoire — to the presence of interiority. In her most recent compositions, the artist establishes a vocabulary guided by several symbolic fronts, albeit with a latent ambiguity resulting from the frankness of her painting.
In Olho nu, the theme of still life occupies most of the body of work, produced over the last few years. This historically consolidated genre allows the construction of endless possible paths, a point of departure for Prata's interest in the subject. According to Livia Benedetti, “It is also necessary to ask about the artist's own motivation in opting for this genre of painting which, in Prata's production, is absolutely not used as a neutral theme, but for confronting a place that can be uncomfortable for a female artist, precisely because of the naturalized association of the female gender with maintaining order in the house, the kitchen and with the plain.”
Moving between humor and the intimate sphere, Ana Prata's practice proves itself, still and fundamentally, as an exercise of her critical spirit. "What comes first for me is always the material, the many possibilities that painting offers, as a thing, is what is confronted. Lately I've been enjoying painting the bowls, fruits, etc. I seem to be looking for some kind of affection or comfort that expresses itself in these small scenes. I look at them as playthings, or sometimes as representations of objects belonging to distant, perhaps even prehistoric, worlds. They are fiction, the way of doing it is what lends some sense of reality," comments the artist.
Amidst the game of predominantly domestic objects, jugs, vases, baskets, fruits and flowers appear on tablecloths, tables or rugs. Through these, however, the pictorial representation takes on other meanings, since each painting evokes them in a unique way, whether in relation to the construction of its poetics or its formal solution. Between one painting and another, these spheres of expression reveal themselves to be guided by a practice that is described by Ivo Mesquita as irreverent, energetic, vibrant.