Galerie Catherine Bastide is delighted to present its fourth exhibition of new works by New York based Brazilian artist Janaina Tschäpe. Spanning diverse media including painting, drawing, photography, video and sculpture, Tschäpe’s practice is an optimistic reinterpretation of nature, human and otherwise.
The Forest, The Cloud and The Sea includes a series of paintings, paper cut-out piece and video work that translate the organic into abstracted forms, at once familiar and exotic. A realm uninhibited by logic bursts forth from the canvas.
Taking inspiration from German romanticism, Brazilian fairytales and a touch of surrealism, Tschäpe’s undulating forms are alive with passion and possibility. Belonging to a generation of performance artists – the influence can be seen foremost in Tschäpe’s earlier video works where amorphous humanoid creatures negotiated challenging landscapes with comical perseverance.
Transcending such directness Tschäpe’s current practice nonetheless retains its playful quality. Created instinctively, Tschäpe’s works are underpinned by a joyful abandoning of rationale. In preference are the sensual, the fantastical and an absurd other worldliness, full of fluid movement. The boundaries between the natural and the fanciful are examined and intertwined imbuing the viewer with a sense of unrestrictedness.
This element of Tschäpe’s practice is vividly represented in the cut-out work which explore the flexibility of the paper bringing its intrinsic qualities to the foreground. Deconstructing and reconstructing the paper invigorates a medium usually hidden behind others. Tschäpe gives the paper a life of it’s own, breaking free into expressive flowing forms responsive to the movement that surrounds it.
Bold, bright, pattern-like distortions dance energetically across surfaces but lying beyond the form is the notion of a utopian impossibility. Tschäpe suggests a magical reality apart and unattainable. Not a paradise lost- there is no room for nostalgia here- rather a futuristic paradise, rooted in the present day and almost yet never quite reached. It is this concept that gives Tschäpe’s images their depth and their tantalizing quality.
To accept Tschäpe’s artwork is to accept the paradise beyond, to accept matters beyond the comprehensible and to rejoice in pure potential.