Sandra Cinto: Cosmic Garden II: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Los Angeles

February 6 - April 3, 2021
Installation Views
Press release

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present Cosmic Garden II, Sandra Cinto’s first exhibition at the gallery in Los Angeles, on view February 6 through April 3, 2021. This is the artist’s eighth exhibition with Tanya Bonakdar. Comprising fifteen new canvases, an immersive wall-to-wall installation and a participatory postcard project, the exhibition continues the artist’s Cosmic Garden series, which was originally conceived for her solo presentation at Fondation Hermès in Tokyo in 2020. 


Since the early 1990s, Sandra Cinto has developed a rich vocabulary of symbols and lines to create lyrical landscapes and narratives that hover between fantasy and reality. Using drawing as her point of departure, the artist renders intricate and mesmerizing seascapes, rainstorms, and celestial skies that frequently engage with the surrounding architecture to create seemingly weightless, immersive environments. Evoking stories of human hardship and redemption, Cinto's fantastical imagery serves as a metaphor for the human odyssey, while also pushing the limits and possibilities of drawing. 


The new paintings on view map a journey from day to night, with hues of blue that vary from light to dark and finely detailed motifs that represent the cosmic energy of the universe. The main room of the gallery features discrete canvases from the Cosmic Garden series with a lighter, daytime palette as well as two painted wooden objects in the form of books. In the rear room at the gallery, nine large canvases from the series Cosmic Garden/Nocturnal are presented as a fully immersive environment, emulating the enveloping qualities of the starry night sky. As the viewer moves throughout the gallery space, these tonal variations create a rhythmic sense of movement within the depicted landscapes and present a poetic reflection on the passage of time. 


For the front room of the gallery, where a single canvas is also on view, Cinto has created an interactive work that celebrates drawing as a means of connection, an opportunity for intimate exchange in our otherwise hyper-digitized world. The viewer is invited to sit at a wooden table with a chair, lamp, pencils and postcards made by Cinto. Guests can draw or write to anyone of their choosing and leave the finished card in the wooden deposit box, which the gallery will mail out throughout the course of the exhibition. Each pencil is inscribed with the phrase “draw with love,” and is meant as a gift for visitors to take with them. For Cinto, the pleasure and power of drawing is essential. In our present time of isolation and remote communication, it is the trace of touch that has the power to bring together visitors, their chosen recipients and the artist in a meaningful meditation on the cosmos. 


On Thursday, February 18th at 2pm EST the gallery will present a live Zoom conversation with Cinto and Raphaela Platow, the Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator of the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. In 2017, she invited Cinto to present Library of Lovelarge-scale landscape installation spanning the lobby and lounge of the museum. 


Born in 1968 in Santo Andre, Brazil, Cinto currently lives and works in São Paulo. She studied art at the Faculdades Integradas Teresa D’Ávila, Santo André, Brazil, and later received fellowships from Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2000–01) and Civitella Ranieri Foundation (2005). 


Since the early 1990s, Cinto has presented her work at museums and institutions worldwide including important solo exhibitions at Fondation Hermès, Tokyo (2020); Instituto Itaú Cultural, Sao Paulo, solo exhibition curated by Paulo Herkenoff (2020); the Dallas Museum of Art (2019-2020); Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati (2017); USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, Florida (2015); the CAAM Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Madrid, Spain (2014); Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo (2010); MACUF Museum of Contemporary Art Union Fenosa in La Coruña, Spain (2007); Wall Project at São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (2003); and Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte (2003). 


Among her many public projects and commissions worldwide, her most notable include Water Movement, Itaúsa Bank, Sao Paulo (2020 - permanent); Open Seascape at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (2019 - permanent); Untitled for Murals of La Jolla (2018 - ongoing); The Invisible Telescope at USF Kate Tiedemann College of Business (2018 - permanent); Library of Love at the Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati (2017 - ongoing); The Great Sun, P.S. 56 (2016 - permanent); One Day, After the Rain, commissioned by The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. (2012-2013); Encounter of Waters at Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Park Pavilion (2012-2014); A Casa das Fontes (The House of Fountains), an installation conceived for Casa do Sertanista in Sao Paulo (2013); When The Night Comes Into My Room, an outdoor public commission for Obra Viva/Esculturas Públicas (Living Work/Public Sculptures) at Parque Ecológico Municipal Estoril–Virgilio Simionatto in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil (2012); and Japonism, a public commission for the SESC swimming pool in Santo André, Brazil (2011). 



All installation images above: Photo by Jeff McLane


A walkthrough of Sandra Cinto's exhibition "Cosmic Garden" at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in Los Angeles, 2021.