Ricardo Alcaide

Sunny Spells

Sunny Spells

JAN 13 – MARCH 11, 2023


Von Bartha is pleased to present Sunny Spells (14 January – 11 March), a solo exhibition by Ricardo Alcaide in the gallery’s Copenhagen space located in the Carlsberg district. The exhibition will include a new body of wall-based works as well as an installation in the gallery’s entrance hall.

The series presented in Sunny Spells takes as its starting point the idea of belonging in relation to the artist’s Latin American cultural background and his recent move from Brazil to Belgium, where he currently lives and works. This focus invites an increasingly experimental approach for Alcaide, having in mind colours, shapes, and volumes that come together in a more sculptural way than previously expressed in the artist’s practice.

The title of Alcaide’s exhibition refers to what the artist calls the “Sunny Spells Effect” by which he describes the momentary appearances of flashes of bright light in combination with the moody and constantly shifting weather in Europe’s temperate climate. These flashes, which are also moments of colourful representation of thought and emotion relating to the tropics, could also be interpreted as flashbacks to the artist’s time spent living in Brazil and in his home country Venezuela. The palate of works in Sunny Spells, including many different shades of green, are also a direct reference to the colours found in the tropics.

Although the pieces in Sunny Spells are new experiments for the artist, they continue a dialogue with previous works from his practice. Following the notion of incompleteness, a theme well visited by Alcaide, the works selected for the exhibition are often characterised by an asymmetry by which they interact with their immediate surroundings of the gallery space. On the pieces in the exhibition Ricardo Alcaide states:

I like to see them as parts of something else, as incomplete pieces, the incompletion holding its own beauty and value, like the un-useful objects that I have collected and kept as little treasures throughout my life.

Specifically, left over bricks have made their way into his treasure trove from where he found them scattered all over São Paulo as either left-over objects from construction or as debris from deconstruction. In Sunny Spells, the bricks have been incorporated into the paintings, giving these works their sculptural potential while recalling the incomplete and lost objects of the streets of São Paulo.

For the artist, these found pieces simultaneously represent a sense of belonging as the simple fact of being part of something, as well as the social and political precariousness of the Latin American tropics. The installation placed in the entrance area of the gallery directly refers to the distinctive yellow stripes on the ceiling of Villa Planchart, a private house designed by the distinguished Italian architect Gio Ponti, which stands on a hill in Caracas. Since the completion of the villa in 1963, the hill has become surrounded by poverty. Aside from regarding the work of Gio Ponti as a source of great aesthetic inspiration, the immediate clash between the architect’s magnificent house on the top of the hill and the poverty that surrounds it, represents exactly the contrasts and conflicting structures that Ricardo Alcaide sees in Latin American cultures of the tropics.

Opening: Friday, January 13, 5–7 pm

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