Nara Roesler is delighted to inaugurate its 2021 exhibitions program in Rio de Janeiro with the solo presentation Not Art. Drawing., featuring recent drawings by artist Milton Machado. The exhibition will open on Tuesday, February 2, and will run through Saturday, March 20, 2021.
Drawing has been present in the artist’s practice since the beginning of his artistic investigations. Not Art. Drawing. features recent works by Machado produced over the last four years, including engagements with different scales and techniques within the medium of drawing, such as indian ink, acrylic paint, graphite and collage. The presentation thus offers the opportunity to delve into the current universe of images that orbit the artist’s recent research, a synthesis of five decades of production.
In Machado’s work, drawing is both a form of commentary and project, but also of fiction and dream, presenting fantasies and criticism through irony. One can find most of these elements in the titles of his works. Notably, in Not Art. Drawing., the titles do not help in deciphering the image, but rather add on further layers of complexity. They allow for the audience to identify different strategies, expanding the possibilities in interpretations, and revealing components of Machado’s particular universe. The titles include the use of humor, as in Lame drawing with some difficulty to move forward (observed by fish); of self-criticism, as in Drawing that only made me feel even more (or less) constrained and embarrassed; of ironic commentary on Art History, as in Mondrian’s panic while facing a tree; reference to literature, Drawing made by a writer (to J.G. Ballard); or even of short narratives, as in Train collision at Köln Hauptbahnhof causes partial crumbling of the Cathedral of Cologne, and Serious pile-up in the vicinity of the tire repairer; while in some cases, Machado also establishes a metalinguistic aspect, making his creative process either explicit or fictionalized, as in Drawing organized as an organism.
The exhibition establishes a dialogue with the artist ‘s previous solo show Mão Pesada, at Nara Roesler, in São Paulo, in 2013. In the artist’s text, written specifically on the occasion of his upcoming exhibition at Nara Roesler, in Rio de Janeiro, Machado creates a conceptual character, or an alter ego, derived from the subject of a work titled Mão Pesada and dated 1976, through which he proposes critical commentaries on the making of Machado’s drawings. In a passage he exclaims: “If only they were not so descriptive, so narrative, perhaps they could claim to be ‘more art.’ Even the most abstract drawings court the figurative, as in identifying Monet’s Japanese bridge in an undefined mess of stains and scribbles, or Mondrian’s panic before a camouflaged tree, just like the Handke/Wenders goalkeeper at the penalty.”
Not Art. Drawing. allows for the audience to discover and become familiar with Machado’s creative process, examining the way in which he plays with classifications of the art system, and perceiving how the drawing returns to its primal role as a structure of the visual thought. In Machado’s practice, the drawing is a tool for reflection, not only because it serves for intellectual speculation, but also for mirroring the world, the history of art and the transformation of images into art. In his works, we perceive the intertwining of gestures and temporalities, of references, and forms. Machado reveals that everything can coexist in a drawing. The paper is both a utopian space, with the ability to assemble what is separated in the world, and a dystopian space full of visual provocations.