A GENTIL CARIOCA
with Ricardo Basbaum, Carlos Contente, Laura Lima, Maria Nepomuceno, and Thiago Rocha Pitta
24 March - 27 April 2011
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Press Release

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery presents a group exhibition organized by the Rio de Janeiro-based gallery A GENTIL CARIOCA, featuring five artists from this gallery's program.


A GENTIL CARIOCA is a gallery situated in the Central Historic district of Rio de Janeiro dedicated to promoting local artists. Founded by artists Laura Lima, Márcio Botner and Ernesto Neto, A GENTIL CARIOCA captures and diffuses the diversity of contemporary art in Brazil. Believing that every work of art is a cultural object with the potential power to disperse culture and education, the gallery is a place where the context of art and politics is considered, remade, documented, and transformed. A GENTIL CARIOCA advocates the potential for art to act as a voice for different artists and ideas, and as such the gallery's programming seeks to stimulate and nourish a network of local Brazilian collectors and arts patrons.

The presentation at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery includes works on canvas and paper by Carlos Contente, (b. 1977) whose work is focused on the repetition of his simplified self-portrait. For several years, the artist's stylized figure
has appeared infinitely multiplied in pictures and graffiti. Recently, Contente has further developed his work in complex, ecstatic, surprising, and sometimes disturbing compositions, in which he compliments his figure with a "family" and narratives. In a new series entitled Wild Naif, the artist explores the pleasures of the powerful colors found in his tropical environment. Contente's fertile imagination takes form through "naif" or childish drawings, free intuitive forms, and illustrations inspired by comic book and Pop culture - all culminating in a deep reflection on the artist's self image.