Pivô presents the group show Roly-Poly in its Annual Exhibitions Programme with the artists Flora Rebollo, Thiago Barbalho and Yuli Yamagata. The project takes over the institution’s second floor exhibition space, and is the outcome of an encounter initiated during these artists’ participation at Pivô Research residency programme, between 2017 and 2018.
The spiral is somehow a constant in all of the artists’ work, appearing both in Yamagata’s sinuous textile sculptures and in the multi-colored freehand drawings by Rebollo and Barbalho. The playful shape of the “Roly-poly” sets the tone of this open ended spatial collaboration between the artists. The exhibition, which is not by any means, a thematic show, is the result of an unpredictable and affective interlace between the three artists, who “unroll” a combination of new works in the space. Working together isn’t always easy, especially in intensely close-knit milieus (the artists produce most of the works in a shared studio space at Pivô). What will be seen in the space is the outcome both of their dialogues and conflicts.
The welcoming colors and the somewhat waggish aspects of the works can easily seduce, but the initial heartening sensation one might have when entering the show, is soon replaced by uneasiness. The idiosyncratic and most elegant sleight of hand forms created by the trio, oscillate between the sweet and the dire.
Rebollo and Barbalho, each one in their own ways, depart from drawing to create a complex visual vocabulary that reveals a mesh of thoughts, shapes and interconnected words. The base of their compositions can be a gesture, the desire to try a new material, or the diagram of previously planned forms—in Barbalho’s case. Yamagata, on the other hand, uses similar methods in her tridimensional textile assemblages, when overlapping and sewing together patterned synthetic fabrics to create her stuffed and quilted creatures.
The exhibition’s discomfit environment, nods at the applied arts and furniture design. For example, Rebollo shows a composition of large, multicolored abstract drawings on the floor, as if it were a rug to be looked from above. While Yamagata’s anthropomorphic sculptures takes the form of a few free-standing clothing hacks, covered in pastel colored cold porcelain, holding pieces of cloth with cut-out eye shapes. In a similar attempt to create a close dialogue with the architecture of the space, Barbalho makes a tridimensional work for the first time. His drawings now cover the plaster coat wrapping a large wooden structure, inspired by the Moebius’ strip and in the Klein’s bottle, which annuls any spatial notion.