Adriana Varejão - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Lehmann Maupin, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Lehmann Maupin, Adriana Varejão, January 7 – February 12, 2000

  • Catalogue Essay

    Incorporating both popular and historical imagery in her paintings, sculptures, and installations, Rio-born Adriana Varejão constructs visually striking artworks that allude to the roots of Brazil’s colonized history. As evidenced in Linha Equinoctial III Varejão sets up a complex dialogue using broken pieces of blue and white porcelain, painted renderings of the ocean, and colored string to create a dynamic installation that draws on the history of Portugal’s colonization of Brazil; and the bringing of Chinese porcelain across the ocean to South America. Macau, the former Portuguese colony off the coast of China, was the cultural epicenter of what later became Brazil’s thriving tradition of decorative tiling. In the present lot, Varejão poignantly recalls this influence and produces a work that is not only visually arresting, but also loaded with cultural significance.
    "Adriana Varejão’s work almost invariably evokes a sense of continuous passage, a journey among divergent images, cultures, times and spaces. It alludes to the notion of the universe in constant expansion and transformation, of an imagery infinitely projected onto the other. It follows an intricate and paradoxical path toward the baroque, an empowering poetic strategy designed to address the complexities of cultural constructions, influences and exchanges by examining, appropriating and remapping the vast body of images, forms and ideas disseminated by the Europeans during the colonization of Brazil," (R. Carvajal, “Travel Chronicles:TheWork of Adriana Varejão,” New Histories, Boston, 1996, p. 168-169).
    Linha Equinoctial III is a worthy example of Varejão’s creative process.The work’s tactile quality recalls one of the artist’s main sources of inspiration—the ItalianTransvanguardia, whose goal was to make sensual experience the main objective of painting. In Linha Equinoctial III, Varejão uses this avant garde concept of the 1980s as a springboard, and takes it to the next level to create a work that is visually baroque and poetic in significance.

  • Artist Biography

    Adriana Varejão

    Brazilian • 1964

    The diverse work of Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão examines such themes as anthropology and miscegenation in contemporary Brazilian society. Born in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Varejão possesses an oeuvre spanning painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation and photography.

    A common motif in Varejão's oeuvre is that of the Azulejo, a traditional Portuguese ceramic tile. In her most famous series, Jerked-beef ruin (2000-'04), Varejão ruptures the ceramic tiles violently exposing a flesh-like interior. The stark contrast between the aesthetically pleasing blue geometric tiles and the visceral interior provides commentary on modern forms of colonization in contemporary Brazilian society.

    View More Works


Linha Equinoctial III (Equatorial Line III)


Oil on canvas, colored strings and porcelain.

Installation dimensions variable; 142 3/4 x 272 x 127 in. (362.6 x 691 x 322.6 cm) as illustrated.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $74,500

Contemporary Art Part I

14 May 2009, 7pm
New York