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Curated by: Fernando Cocchiarale

Solotransição (solotransition), title chosen by Xico Chaves for his first exhibition in a private gallery since 1989, is illustrative since it brings to light not only the transformations that occurred in his work during this period, but also the consolidation of his poetic axis that makes up the centre of his creative process. 


Xico Chaves’ work has been developing since the beginning of the 70’s, addressing recurring issues like the interest for experimenting languages and technical mediums of a diverse nature. Along with this experimental characteristic that refers to the poetic reconstruction of contemporary life through multimedia, Xico has also been producing paintings and objects whose silence differs from the noisy friction between art, words and media so present in his work.


This polarisation between the silence of an ancestral craft like painting and the narrative articulation of political and ideological critique in midst of Brazil’s obscure institutionalised power - via alternative dialogue with Brazilian popular culture -  sets up, explains and justifies Xico’s liberty to edit poetry and visuality, technology and handcraft, knitting them into the same net. 


Therefore, there is a coherent proximity between the handcraft of painting and Xico’s admiration for the thematic-semantic of the new technologies of the image (from photography to computing). This characteristic allows us to affirm that the investigative nucleus of any of Chaves’ works results from a critical flowering that reasonings about art and society seem to hide.


All of the artist’s painting, from the oldest series - like Nova Matéria, from the 80s - to the most recent ones - like the Big Bang series (2017) - were produced with minerals, natural pigments and acrylic resin in order to make visible their own materiality, bringing Earth to the surface. Here, the most important thing is to reveal this invisible potential by simply bringing it to light, making it apparent (and accessible to the eye).


The paintings and objects, therefore, don’t search for their meanings in words or in figurative images, but in the semantic field that is inherent to the materials they use. Showcased in minimalistic compositions, these materials seem to symbolically evoke a fundamental and permanent scope (but not ontological) that precedes and survives the historical context in which we live and in which Xico Chaves currently acts. For these reasons, despite the fact they seem abstract, these works can be understood as the opposite, as poetic anchors of Xico Chaves’ experimental creative process.




Fernando Cocchiarale


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