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Maria Nepomuceno’s seductive sculptures and installations made of brightly coloured rope, straw, beads and more recently clay and other objects spread through the spaces they inhabit: whether floor or wall based they create constellations of materials and a strange new cosmos. Grande Boca is one of her larger installations and its large central form suggests a representation of the subject of the title – “big mouth”.
However, while based around a singular form, Grande Boca is typical of Nepomuceno’s work in an organicism that seems to follow a logic within the materials. The spiralling and circling forms multiply across the wall behind the work, seemingly pervading the adjacent architecture. The spirals that are found in this and other works relate to a form that is found throughout nature as well as DNA and the universe. The woven elements of the work are inspired by ancient Brazilian traditions and weaving techniques, which the artist has transformed in her own engagement with materials, structures, form and content. With these forms Nepomuceno seeks to interrelate universal forms and ideas with the more personal responses of the viewer.
The sculpture is a synthesis of the natural and artificial and anthropomorphic in its direct reference to a bodily organ but exotic and playful rather than representational. The scale and piles of beads and other materials add a colourful, theatrical atmosphere to the work. The suspended jug, acting as a pulley to open the “mouth”, inserts a spatial tension that contrasts with the aspiring spirals attracted to the wall.
In addition, Grande Boca makes a specific reference to the recent history of Brazilian art. The subject matter connects with Oswald de Andrade’s now well-known 1928 nationalistic proposition for art in Brazil to be anthropophagic and consume international art while remaining autonomously national. In addition, Nepomuceno acknowledges the legacy of artists Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica and Ernesto Neto and their interests in art that is vital, sensual and connected to the everyday world.
- Grande Boca
- Production date
- ropes, beads, fibreglass, resin, plates, wooden paint brushes, acrylic, ceramic
- 6000 x 5000 x 7200 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2016
- Accession no
- Other ID
- X2015/372 Old Accession Number
- Copying restrictions apply
- International Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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