Alison Jacques is happy to announce Erika Verzutti’s major exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, UK, which opens tomorrow and is the Brazilian artist’s first solo presentation in a UK museum. Curated by Nicole Yip with Kiera Blakey and assisted by Hannah Wallis, the exhibition gathers together over 40 works from the last 15 years, alongside a new body of work and a major site-specific commission.
Sensuous and tactile, Verzutti’s sculptures often seem to sit outside of period and place, conjuring relics or archaeological finds. Realised in bronze, concrete and papier mâché, they draw from a range of sources: vegetables, household objects, newspaper clippings and online imagery. They take a playfully omnivorous approach to art history, quoting and reimagining works that stretch from Brancusi to Brazilian modernism, from Picasso to the Palaeolithic.
The Venus of Willendorf echoes throughout this landmark show. Discovered in Austria in 1908, this artefact was made around 25,000 years ago and is often regarded as the mother of all sculpture. Two monumental six-metre sculptures – one erect, the other supine – continue this reference. Elsewhere, another series of new works – referred to as ‘ghosts’ of previous pieces – are made from papier mâché, a material that Verzutti says allows for autonomy and freedom.
While the works assembled at Nottingham Contemporary are referentially and materially diverse, it is the ambitious variousness of Verzutti’s material explorations, as well as the playfulness of her approach to language, that ultimately unites them.