Sonia Gomes | Brazil

Visual artist. Her sculptures are built using fabric and other objects that are found, twisted, tied, and manipulated until they turn into complex spatial arrangements. Her procedure is to deconstruct fabric-making techniques, stripping these materials of all utilitarian purpose. Through the prints, colors and techniques employed, her works evoke an intimate universe connected with the artist’s family memories and racial and cultural identity, and allude to her hometown, Caetanópolis, a major textile industry hub in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. She studied Fine Arts at the Guignard School of the University of the State of Minas Gerais (UEMG), in Belo Horizonte, from 1995 to 1997. Her works have been shown at Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo, 2013; the Kunsten-Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark, 2013; the Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, Germany, 2013; and in a solo exhibit at New York’s Lehmann Maupin, in 2015. She lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Deslocar | 2015, installation

The installation Deslocar is a development of Sônia Gomes’ extensive research on textiles, or materials that dress “both the house and the body,” as she puts it. Working with the memory contained in the scraps of fabric and the various types of ribbons she accumulates, Gomes cuts up, sews, and combines pieces with different textures and colors, creating shapes on twisted wire. In Deslocar, she experiments with a scale that challenges the body’s intimacy to emphasize the gesture that builds the artwork. Each of the piece’s curves or indentations appears to speak of a subject, in its singularity, or of a collective with a shared history and culture.  “I’ve always strived towards inconformity with established things, and I’ve always wanted to give things a different spin. My work has emerged from this craft,” says the artist.