Marina Perez Simão joins Pace Gallery
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Marina Perez Simão joins Pace Gallery
Marina Perez Simão, Untitled, 2020. Oil on canvas, 26" × 37-1/4" (66 cm × 94.5 cm) No. 75782 © Marina Perez Simão. Courtesy of the artist, Mendes Wood DM, and Pace Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace Gallery announced its representation of São Paulo-based artist Marina Perez Simão ahead of the artist’s inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery this spring. At the cusp of abstraction and figuration, Simão’s oil paintings present fluid forms in subtle chromatic harmonies that conjure the transformational qualities of luminous, open vistas without ever depicting any specific place in explicit detail. Inspired by the natural landscape of her native Brazil, Simão’s paintings lead us into territories in which we are confronted with that which is ungraspable, with that elusive and unspeakable instant that poets strive so hard to capture with words. Simão aligns with Pace’s long history of working with artists at the forefront of abstraction such as Sam Gilliam and Mark Rothko, as well as the gallery’s expanding contemporary program which brings together artists pushing the boundaries of painting including Torkwase Dyson, Robert Nava, and Beatriz Milhazes, who recently joined the gallery’s roster.

Pace will co-represent Simão with Mendes Wood DM, the artist’s gallery in Brazil, and will focus on building the artist’s international profile across its locations in North America, the UK, and Asia. Pace’s initial collaboration with the artist and Mendes Wood DM began in summer 2020 when Pace presented Simão’s paintings alongside works by Sonia Gomes, another recent addition to the Pace program, at its East Hampton location. On April 1, 2021, Pace will debut Simão’s newest body of paintings at its gallery in New York.

Marc Glimcher, President & CEO, Pace Gallery, shares: “It’s incredibly exciting for us to be working with an artist who is on the rise of international recognition. Using an abstract vocabulary, Marina’s luminous, imaginary landscapes draw from both the traditions of contemporary Brazilian painting and American modernism. In collaboration with Mendes Wood DM, we look forward to sharing her unique vision with a wider audience and to supporting her growth as one of the foremost painters of the next generation of abstraction.”

Simão’s painting practice untangles emotions and thoughts that get caught in the tongue-tied inexplicability of our times. When seen as a group, her works can formally rhyme and thereby imitate loose storylines—an indirect consequence of the artist’s approach to working on multiple canvases at once. Simão explains: “I feel that there is a sort of narrative in my paintings. Passing from one element to the next is very important to me, the fluidity and ambivalence.” In this way, Simão opens her work to the interpretational creativity of the viewer and thumbs the gap between representation and language, the lived and the said, the palpable and invisible.

With the artist’s new series of paintings, which will be unveiled at Pace’s New York space this spring season, Simão unleashes gravity’s reductive grip on the viewer’s imagination. Pulsing with a magnetic, musical, and hypnotic presence, the works draw the audience further into the powerful potentiality of her abstracted landscapes, opening up infinite paths to get lost in. As the artist states about her painting practice: “I try to play around and subvert the elements of the landscape, maybe as an attempt to go somewhere that I’ve never been before, but at the same time that is familiar. I try to imagine a topography that is vulnerable, but that creates some sort of dance for the eye. The discernible elements of the landscape are less important to me than the feeling they provoke.”

Marina Perez Simão (b. 1980, Vitória, Brazil) has developed a working process based fundamentally on the accumulation and juxtaposition of memories and images. By combining personal experiences and multiple references stemming from fields such as philosophy, literature, and journalism, the artist collects certain narratives in order to edit them through pictorial means that do not belong to any predefined language; rather, they develop with an organic practice, which combines thematic density and a delicate treatment.

Simão uses a variety of techniques, such as collage, drawing, and oil painting, as starting points in order to marry interior and exterior landscapes, she composes visual journeys that sometimes traverse the unknown, the abstract and the nebulous, but also include visions and memories.

Simão’s work is held in several public collections worldwide, including the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne in France, The Ekard Collection in the Netherlands, and the Samdani Art Foundation in Bangladesh, as well as the Speed Art Museum in Kentucky and the University of Chicago in the United States.

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