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SAM's Olympic Sculpture Park debuts new site-specific work by Brazilian artist Regina Silveira
Installation view of Regina Silveira: Octopus Wrap at the Olympic Sculpture Park. © Seattle Art Museum. Photo: Natali Wiseman. Installation view of Regina Silveira: Octopus Wrap at the Olympic Sculpture Park. © Seattle Art Museum. Photo: John Reed.

SEATTLE, WA.- SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park presents Regina Silveira: Octopus Wrap (May 11, 2019–March 8, 2020), a new site-specific installation for the PACCAR Pavilion. Inspired by the park’s location at the intersection of several busy thoroughfares, Octopus Wrap envelops the building’s walls in a mind-bending tire track pattern that questions our perception of reality. This is the first time the internationally celebrated artist has shown work in Seattle.

Brazilian artist Regina Silveira is renowned for her illusionistic interventions on buildings, city streets, and public parks. These surreal disruptions of public spaces have included exaggerated shadows, swarms of insects, dense clusters of footprints, and nocturnal light projections of animal tracks wandering across building façades. Silveira started her career in the 1950s and has become one of the country’s most revered artists, creating works that investigate the representation of reality and the power of art to transform.

For this installation, Silveira has wrapped the PACCAR Pavilion’s floor, walls, and windows in an improbable pattern of overlapping tire tracks that from a distance recall the arms of an octopus. The installation resolves on the building’s interior mural wall in five toy motorcycles driven by five tiny drivers. Taking the park’s location—zigzagging around busy city streets, railroad tracks, and waterways—as inspiration, Octopus Wrap upends the viewer’s perception of a well-known space, disrupting its austerity with boisterous visual noise.

“Silveira is an extraordinary artist who has inspired several generations of artists in Brazil,” says Catharina Manchanda, SAM’s Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Contemporary Art. “Her artistic gesture is political in the sense that she aims to disrupt the familiar. Irreverent and fantastical, her immersive installation is like a noisy parade that stops us in our tracks.”

Regina Silveira was born in 1939 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. She received her Ph.D. in 1984 at Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil and has taught there since 1974.

Noteworthy recent solo shows include EXIT, Museu Brasileiro da Escultura – MuBE, São Paulo, Brazil, 2018; Todas As Escadas, Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, 2018; Crash, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil, 2015; and 1001 Dias e Outros Enigmas, Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre Brazil, 2011. Silveira’s recent group exhibitions include Mixed Realities, Kunst Museum, Stuttgart, Germany, 2018; Imprint, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland, 2017; Future Shock, Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, USA, 2017; Radical Women in Latin America, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA, 2017; and Consciência Cibernética [?], Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil, 2017.

Silveira has taken part in over 13 international biennials and received noteworthy grants including Prêmio MASP (2013), Prêmio APCA for her trajectory (2011) and Prêmio Fundação Bunge (2009). The artist also received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1990), Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1993) and Fulbright Foundation (1994).

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