With ‘Circa MMXVIII Human Landscape’, the gallery Mendes Wood DM devotes a show to the Brazilian conceptual artist Anna Bella Geiger, who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition assembles the artist’s work in a span of media and styles: from the figurative paintings of her early ‘visceral’ period in the ’60s, up through experiments in photomontage, photocopying and ‘geopoetry’. Metal is a recurring medium and theme, standing for alchemical changes of state – whether of artistic media, or broader environmental realities. For one work in her series ‘Fronteiriços’ (Frontiers, 2017), Bella Geiger lined a vintage, iron file drawer with blue pigment and surrealistic imagery: like a time capsule that’s been pulled out of the ocean. The ‘Rolinhos’ (Little Scrolls, 1998), meanwhile, are lead plates that are partly unravelled, revealing small drawings, writings and maps: etched on one are the words ‘Local da Açao’, or ‘trouble spots’. A further ‘trouble spot’ that emerges in the exhibition is our world itself: her Sobre Nácar (On Mother of Pearl, 2003) is a small allegory of the world’s fragility, bearing a world map engraved onto the mother of pearl in a shell.
- Pablo Larios