The fruit of a 6-month residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, In Between is Rodrigo Sassi’s first European solo exhibition: London 3 – 24 February followed by Paris 19 March – 18 April 2015 in collaboration with MDM Gallery.
The title of the exhibition, In Between alludes in part to Rodrigo’s recent geographical movements (Sao Paulo, London, Paris) and the influences of these places on his work and development as an artist, as well as being a direct reference to the making process of the sculptures, such as using concrete “in between” sheets of plywood, plywood “in between” layers of black paint and so on.
Seen fresh for the first time, there appears to be something incomplete about Rodrigo Sassi’s sculptures. However, rather than this being an error or a problem, it is a manifestation of how elements of sculpture can be presented to the contemporary world. Open, splaying, inviting gestural structures, point to a fluid approach to shape, a subtle dialogue with post-minimalism, calligraphy/mark-making and Arte Povera.
There is a sense of something about to appear, but it is either never shown in its entirety, or it evades the finished form in which we are accustomed to seeing sculpture or installation. This is unquestionably a condition of how art perceives and understands a fractured, abject, cruel, and yet also fragile and dynamic, world that is criss-crossed by torrents of information, often lost in translation.
There is a clear nod to Concretism and a subtle reference to Brazil’s deforestation and extensive export of natural resources (plywood and paper in particular) which lead to the loss of 85% of forests in less than 70 years. The resulting works hang in balance and the image of the construction site as reference is most appropriate, as we are presented with nuts and bolts, concrete, ply, paint and other materials of a kind that is familiar in many of our built environments. The materials the artist uses (mainly recycled/found wood, concrete and metal) reinforce this idea. His works have nothing ephemeral about them, and their strong, solid presence reveals opposing forces, disparate syntaxes of friction and affinity, incompleteness and construction.