nuno de campos
lap and beyond
april 4 - 28

opening reception: friday, april 6, 5:30 -7:30 pm






In his second solo exhibition, Nuno de Campos presents two egg-tempera paintings from the series Lap, started in 1998, and the debut of a new group of drawings.
Lap - egg tempera on panel - 15 x 15" - 2000 Lap - detail
In each drawing, the female character holds/controls access to objects that have the potential to influence, delegate power or offer autonomy, in short, shape the viewer. Indeed, each of these objects holds deeply rooted and subliminal references to feelings of comfort, growth, desire and approval. In the earlier Lap series there was a clearly delineated physical distance between viewer and subject invoking a subtly voyeuristic yet non-sexual approach to the figure.
Knife#4, knife#2 and Knife#3 - graphite on paper - 14 x 11" - 2000
In his new series of drawings, this distance is mediated by a range of objects - implicating the viewer in the act of acceptance/refusal and desire (both covetous and quasi-sexual). The small child's Swiss army knife, for example, is phallic... but not too phallic... serving to represent the time in life when a child is offered the first adult "toy" with all of the latent promise and danger of adolescence itself.

Single #2 - graphite and white chalk on tinted paper - 12 x 12" - 2001

Single#4 - charcoal and white chalk on tinted paper - 12 x 12" - 2001

In several images a cover of a Jaques Brel album, featuring his original song "Ne me quite pas" obscures the female figure's face creating both an intriguing object for scrutiny or self-reflection, and a harsh barrier to the woman beyond. About this object, the artist says, "The peculiar image of Brel has very little to do with his American contemporaries ? Elvis, Sinatra, etc. He is not handsome, healthy, strong, or tall. He is not the ideal leader of a happy family in suburban America, nor is he rebellious in a "sex-drugs-R&R" style. He is both romantic and rebellious, but in a much more intellectual, leftish, existential, decadent and vulnerable way. "Ne me quite pas" became known to the American public, but through the voice of Nina Simone." In this manner, de Campos analyzes the influence of a European male idol, defined against and through the piercing background of a feminine presence.
Rub#4, Rub#3 and Rub #2 - graphite and white chalk on tinted paper - 12 x 12" - 2001
The Swiss army knife, record cover, and Vicks VapoRub are objects that embody the elusive ability to transform their beholders, not only through their practical functions, but also through their cultural and ideological content. The interactions represented in de Campos' drawings reflect in critical fashion the relationships with objects that happen through the very act of visiting an art gallery. The work exhibited was produced with the support of a grant from the Mass Cultural Council. Nuno de Campos is currently in residence at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation's Space Program, in New York.

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