JULIANA CERQUEIRA LEITE EXHIBITS IN HER KIND AT SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS GALLERY NEW YORK
The Brazilian sculptor explores the materiality of the human body and what it means to be human through her work in the group exhibition Her Kind. The show takes its title from the iconic and unsettling poem by American poet Anne Sexton. The works on view blend and warp pre-existing materials, transforming them into uncanny, anthropomorphic presences.
In “Her Kind,” Sexton speaks as three different witchy female archetypes. The first is “a possessed witch, haunting the black air, braver at night,” who flies over the rooftops, placing curses on traditional domesticity. The second “fix[es] the suppers for the worms and the elves” in a cave in the woods which she has outfitted as a home for herself. The final speaker declares she “is not ashamed to die,” even as she is driven naked in a cart to be burned at the stake. Each figure defies normative sociality and femininity, and they are exiled and punished for it. At the end of each description, Sexton repeats the refrain, “I have been her kind,” claiming kinship with these powerful outcasts.
The exhibition, which also features artists Ivana Bašić, Amy Butowicz, mujero, Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya, Shinique Smith and Rachel Youn, is made up of works which, like the women in the poem, take on a variety of strange shapes. Some are anthropomorphic, blurring the boundary between flesh and thing as they hold their own in the gallery space. Others assemble and combine objects that normally ensnare the body, rendering them strange and alluring. All of these amorphous forms destabilize fixed categories, calling into question the boundaries between the human and the non-human, male and female, animate and inanimate. While they are archetypes of a certain kind, they are also many things at once.
Juliana Cerqueira Leite (b.1981) is a Brazilian sculptor based in New York. With a highly demanding and complex process that entails sculpture but also performance, Cerqueira Leite creates huge pieces embedded with personal histories, trauma, but also a more global, collective consciousness.
Cerqueira Leite received the 2019 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for her exhibition Orogenesis at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy, and the 2016 Furla Art Prize for her contribution to the 5th Moscow Young Art Biennale. Recent solo shows have included Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo, Arsenal Contemporary in New York and Montreal, Galeria Casa Triângulo in São Paulo, Alma Zevi gallery in Venice, Nogueras Blanchard in Madrid, and TJ Boulting in London. Juliana has also exhibit in group shows in New York, Seoul, Maastricht, and London. Her work has been commissioned by international Biennials and Triennials including The Antarctic Pavilion of the 2017 Venice Biennale, Bergen Assembly 2019, Moscow Young Art Biennale, Marrakech Biennale and the 2014 Vancouver Sculpture Biennial.
Cerqueira Leite graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art MFA Sculpture program in 2006 in London, as the inaugural recipient of the Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Prize.
Until August, 28th
179 East Broadway New York, NY