Flávio Cerqueira

Foi assim que me ensinaram, 2011

Nós que aqui estamos por vós esperamos, 2011

Flávio Cerqueira (Brasil)

The artist Flávio Cerqueira is interested in figurative sculpture for its potential to manipulate social reality. His characters, originating in the observations of society, are rendered in bronze - a hard, opaque material and covered in mono chromatics, generally black or white. His gallery of characters are street children, children in situations of helplessness and abandonment. In other scenarios the artist utilizes characters from official iconography, such as the Madonna or a dwarf, in a clear allusion to the artist Juan Muñoz (one of his sculptural influences) as well as Goya. 

In his premiere solo exhibition in Europe, Flávio Cerqueira presents two works created for the Palácio Pombal which formally respond to the longing of a young artist upon coming to the European continent. As a model of civilization, Europe is a cradle and a bastion of the sciences, art and culture, held until recently as the benchmark of civilization by the historical and artistic artefacts owned by its cities and museums. The first piece the artist presents is Foi assim que me ensinaram (This is the way I was taught), a criticism of the teaching in art schools which inadequately prepares artists by emphasizing the technique at the detriment of the systematic knowledge of art history and theory. Constructed as a self- portrait, i.e. a portrait of the thousands of artists who leave art school without having even the minimum understanding of the historic accomplishments of their forerunners, the piece is a strong criticism of the modern education system.
In the garden of the palace the artist presents the installation Nós que aqui estamos por vós esperamos (Those of us who are here are waiting for you). With this work Flávio Cerqueira questions the position of contemporary artists and their relationship with history, making reference to the great creators of the past up to the current and most talked about names that engage a global audience. In this piece the artist recreates the tradition of the Vanitas in a contemporary and extremely critical fashion.
Co-produção: Zipper Galeria