Christina Oiticica is known for her eco art works. Canvases painted with acrylic paints find their completion not until they have been exposed to nature and its elements. Most of the works remain left to natural forces for a specific while, often dug in and dug out by the artist herself with bare hands. The result is always a surprise. Christina Oiticica’s current exhibition at Brasilea Foundation in Basel (Switzerland) for the first time features all four elements, earth, water, air and fire, thus the title of the show, Quatro Elementos. The exhibition includes several works specifically designed for the exhibition in Basel. The exhibition will end with a Finissage on March 16, 2017, when the finished works are taken back from nature again. In this video we attend the opening reception and Christina Oiticica and Daniel Faust (Director, Brasilea Foundation), provide us with a short introduction to the show.
Christina Oiticica: Quatro Elementos / Brasilea Foundation, Basel. Vernissage, January 26, 2017.
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The Brasilea Foundation exhibits works by the Brazilian artist Christina Oiticica from 26 January to 16 March 2017. Christina Oiticica is known worldwide for her eco art works. Canvases painted with acrylic paints find their completion not until they have been exposed to nature. Most of the works remain left to natural forces for a specific while, often dug in and dug out by the artist herself with bare hands. The result is always a surprise. To take the work back from nature again is always a happening and associated with great emotions for Christina Oiticica.
“I have entered into a partnership with nature” says Christina Oiticica. “I create one half of the work, nature does the second half”. This cooperation was not planned. For many years, the artist has lived with her husband Paulo Coelho in the French Pyrenees for several months each year. At first she simply lacked the place to dry her canvases. She left them outside in the open, and nature added leaves, dust, and insects over night, so that the work changed and finalized itself.
Symbolism and spirituality are important for the works of the conceptual artist Christina Oiticica. Not only does she bury these works in historic and sacred places. Also her part of the work, which is the performing arts, is symbolic and based on myths and legends. Her works are also feminine-erotic and sensual red-colored. Brazilian everyday scenes of contemporary pop style are paired with religious symbols in very typical Latin American portrayal. Christina Oiticica comes from the art scene of Rio de Janeiro of the seventies, which also includes Lygia Clark, Mira Schendel and Hélio Oiticica. She has been exhibiting since the 80s and has an impressive exhibition vita. In addition to numerous shows in her home country, she has exhibited world-wide, in Spain, USA, Finland, Japan, many other countries and also several times in Switzerland (St. Moritz Art Masters 2008/2009).
From 26 January, she is the Artist in Residence in Brasilea and shows her works in a single show. Her “Four Elements” work cycle includes several works specifically designed for the exhibition in Basel. The artworks are prepared in advance before they are completed on site. Seven of her works are installed on the roof terrace of the building and exposed to winter weather, three in water basins and four in the fresh air. Three more are buried in the ground of the raised ground floor of the exhibition rooms. The fourth element fire comes in at the Vernissage on 26 January 2017. Then the works, before being handed over to nature for completion, are finished with the help of fire in the Brasilea. Visitors to the exhibition can experience the entire process on site and are, of course, invited to participate in the Finissage when the finished works are taken back from nature again. Vernissage and Finissage are open to the public.
Furthermore, more than 40 works, which have been produced since 2004, including 25 of the “Primavera” series from Spain (2008), from the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela are shown in the Brasilea. In the same way, Paulo Coelho’s work “The pilgrimage. Along the road to Santiago de Compostela” was created in 2007. Three works from the Amazon are also part of the exhibition.