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Henrique Oliveira's Tridimensionals:
Brushstroke, Form, and Space

by Allison Hunter

What was once radical is now accepted within the context of high art, from urinals to coyotes to canned feces. How do we recognize innovation in contemporary sculpture after we have seen so much over the past century? Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira offers a refreshing solution with his “tridimensionals.” By using recycled materials and art historical themes, he invites us to make new connections. Over the past six years, he has produced acrylic paintings and installations consisting of wood veneer. His primary goal is to challenge the surface of pictorial art and to play with its possibilities as a screen, a conceptual layer for the artist but also a staging ground to challenge the past. “The conceptual starting point for me is Modernist painting. You don’t see through it like a window; you see it as a flat surface,” Oliveira explains.

Detail of Tapumes, 2006.
Wood, 3.5 x 23 x 1.4 meters.
View of work installed at FUNARTE, Rio de Janeiro.


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