Sandra Cinto: Two Forces: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

June 1 - July 29, 2016
Installation Views
Press release

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present Two Forces, Sandra Cinto’s seventh solo exhibition at the gallery, on view June 1 through July 15, 2016. Ranging from immersive to intimate in scale, new works on canvas expand upon her rich vocabulary of intricately rendered natural forms, incorporating traditional Japanese ink and watercolor techniques developed during a residency in Aomori, Japan last summer.


‪In this new body of work, titled By Chance and Necessity, masterfully hand-drawn rock formations are layered with transparent fields of blue pigment applied to canvas using various methods. Recognizing the generative powers of opposing forces, Cinto strikes an exquisite balance: chance and control, fluid and solid, presence and emptiness are continually in conflict in her work. For Cinto, these dualities are a metaphor for embracing the instabilities in life and can also be understood as complimentary necessities, wherein one element cannot exist or be understood without the other.


Throughout her 25 year practice, Cinto has created powerful compositions that evoke stories of human hardship and redemption, fantastical landscapes that serve as a metaphor for the human odyssey, while also pushing the limits and possibilities of drawing. In particular, water is an important recurring element in the artist’s oeurve, a charged symbol of perpetual transformation that allows her to approach larger questions about existence and the human condition. For Cinto, water is essential to our understanding of reality. It is necessarily universal: we are composed mostly of it, require it for survival, excrete it in extreme emotional and physical states. And at the same time one’s relationship to water is entirely relative: contingent on his or her socioeconomic and geographical orientation, where it may be taken for granted, perilously scarce or abundant. In By Chance and Necessity, water is not only depicted but also materialized as an instrument for composing the final image that at once suspends time and implies its uncontrollable passage.

In the center of the main gallery space, Cinto presents a unique sculpture of her own arm extended forward, holding water in a cupped hand. Carved from a single piece of alabaster, which is at once a solid and semi-transparent material, the sculpture adds further dimension to the presence of water and suspension of time within the exhibition. This sculpture manifests the­­ two fundamental sources of creation embodied in the exhibition: water and the artist’s own hand. Cinto’s presentation renders the inextricable balance between intention and intuition, image and material, the universal and the individual.


Currently, Cinto's work is on view in Expected: Soft Power. Arte Brasil., Kunsthal KAQdE, Amersfoort, Netherlands. Earlier this year, her work was the subject of a solo exhibition entitled Sandra Cinto: By Chance and Necessity, West Gallery, USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), Tampa. Other recent solo presentations include: En Silêncio, Matadero Madrid Contemporary Art Center, Madrid, which traveled to Fundación Luis Seoane, A Corunha, Spain Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno – CAAM Museum, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain (2014); A Casa das Fontes (The House of Fountains), an installation conceived for Casa do Sertanista in São Paulo, Brazil (2013); Encontro das Águas (Encounter of Waters), Olympic Sculpture Park Pavilion at the Seattle Art Museum, Washington, (2012-2014); One Day, After the Rain, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. (2012-2013), and Solar, a site-specific project for Espaço Cultural do Complexo Hospitalar Edmundo Vasconcelos, São Paulo (2011).. Sandra Cinto's work in included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, Albright-Knox Gallery, NY, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil, among others.

All installation images above: Photo by Jean Vong