Iran do Espírito Santo

INSTITUTO INHOTIM

Mococa, sp, Brazil, 1963; lives in São Paulo, Brazil

Iran do Espírito Santo began to show his work in the mid-1980s. Although sculpture is the medium that best characterizes his oeuvre, the artist also works with photography, wall painting and drawing. Representation is one of his main fields of study – whether in reference to art itself, or related to architecture and industrial design. In his work, ordinary objects and common forms are transformed through precise techniques, with material traditionally used in the field of sculpture. While developing his works, he meticulously analyses each object, allowing its folds to be seen, revealing its texture, dissecting the planes that compose its unfolded form. The industrial scale associated to the shapes he works with is contradicted by unique pieces that are very concise yet extremely appealing. In his production, the artist establishes a strong relationship with pop art, minimalism, and, especially, São Paulo concretism and the Brazilian modernist tradition.

Espírito Santo’s sculptures are nearly always made from a single material, which can be marble, granite, glass or metal, making use of the colors black, white, and shades of gray as his main tones. Caixa branca [White Box] and Caixa preta [Black Box] both dated 2003, are part of a series of sculptures that represent objects whose primary function is to keep or contain things. Besides the boxes, there are barrels and cans which, made of marble or granite, retain only the appearance of the object that they are modeled after. The emptiness that is essential for their use has been substituted by solid material. By displaying them side-by-side, in their black and white versions, the artist underscores the rigorous simplicity of these forms that here seem to paradigmatically represent a spectrum of other objects. This tension created by the interplay between weight, shape, volume and density is present in an extensive set of his sculptures.

Julia Rebouças