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The artist José Paulo, who lives and works in Recife, has gained substantial interest in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 thanks in part to a recent show alongside Ana Holck at Anita Schwartz gallery. To mark his presence once more, his latest collection ‘Para Nunca Mais Me Esquecer’ has been unveiled at Paço Imperial.
Known for his careful pencil drawings and meditations on everyday objects, Paulo extends himself into the gallery's generous space, exhibiting large sculptures alongside smaller objects complemented by drawings. The works ‘Carimbos Siameses’ greet you as you enter the exhibition space, the oversized, old-fashioned wooden stamps are double sided with contradictory statements embossed on their rubber plates. One reads ‘Approved’ while the other reads ‘Denied’, exploring how quickly events in life can turn, presenting opposites and contradicting themselves.
The large title work, ‘Para nunca mais me esquecer’, is perhaps the most visually pleasing of the show. The sculpture is again made up of large old-fashioned branding irons, this time of individual letters connected on an iron ring, the necks of which converge at the end to produce a pleasing chaos of letters. There is a delicacy to the work, despite its iron structure, and it feels like a very personal meditation on presence and absence. The huge scale of these stamps, usually domestic objects, is reminiscent of the work of Brazilian sculptor Tunga, currently exhibiting alongside other Brazilian greats at MAM Rio de Janeiro.