Exhibition "In Hands"

Sat08Jun(jun 8)11:00Sat10August(Aug 10)19:00Exhibition "In Hands"The movements in the text focus on the hands – extremities of the upper limbs, articulated by the wrist and extending to the fingers.Raquel Arnaud Gallery, Rua Fidalga, 125 – Vila Madalena, São Paulo - SP


This is a text in three movements. Each of them appears, at first glance, to be autonomous. When united in this space, they have a choreography or polyphonic communication, in which each voice reveals itself to be unique, but is interdependent. The movements in the text focus on the hands – extremities of the upper limbs, articulated by the wrist and extending to the fingers. In the first movement, the hands are serene, in silent discovery and construction. In the second, they agitate intensely, reflecting conflicts and resolutions. In the third, they find balance and dance in harmony.

I – in hand

The French philosopher and essayist Jules Michelet focuses, in his book The bird[1], about bird behavior. At a certain point in the essay, he states that birds, as they do not have the hands of squirrels or the teeth of beavers, could be understood as workers without instruments. The light bodies with a rounded shape are, however, their tool: with their chest, they squeeze and compress materials until they become docile, until they mix them, subject them to the general work. In birds, the entire body is a hand.

The nest, its space of shelter and protection, mirrors, in a certain sense, the shape of its body: in the arrangement of the branches that serve as a resting place, fingers can be seen; The bird's entire body is a construction instrument. With our human hands, we reproduce the shape of the nest: when we collect our fingers, we curve our palms upwards. The gesture is welcoming in hands of the material and immaterial world and the creation of containers, spaces for safekeeping and protection[2].

This exhibition is, in many ways, the stretching of arms and the bending of hands as we invite young artists – Ana Takenaka, iah bahia, Nathalie Ventura – to dialogue with those already represented by Galeria Raquel Arnaud – Carla Chaim, Carlos Nunes and João Trevisan. The intertwining of these artists' poetics is like the construction of a nest, in which the branches thicken and cool, depending on the stage of construction: in the exhibition, there are moments in which close relationships are created; in others, there are only indications of proximity or distance.

The artists gathered here, like birds looking to build their nests, use the hand, the body, and the breath in a research around the gesture.

 II – coats and double hands

The relationship between hand movements and mental processes is complex. Leaving the debate in the scientific field in the background to focus on reflections from philosophy and literary criticism, there is a certain tradition that associates concrete actions performed by the hand, such as holding, taking and grasping, with thought processes, such as remembering, dream, ask questions and, ultimately, synthesize. For Paul Valery[3], for example, the hand is an extraordinary organ in which resides all of humanity's power to transform: it is capable of counteracting the course of things and can modify them. When the hand works the material, its movements are precise and investigative, like those of a detective searching for something lost. There is a mental image to be extracted, through meticulous movements that identify where to touch, where the matter is sensitive, fragile and moldable. Form arises from these actions, giving matter an aesthetic function or dimension.

The artists gathered in the exhibition teach different ways of learning and building with their hands. In his gestures, we find a kind of alchemy: it is as if, through his hands, it was possible to unveil his secrets and bring to life new ways of being in the world. In the next paragraphs, we will dedicate ourselves to the exercise of identifying the layers (layers) that make up each person's poetics, in order to point out similarities and differences through which they appropriate the material and create their works. In this way, we try to create a path of double hands.
Ana Takenaka and Carla Chaim draw. Interested in the movement of the hand (and body) on paper, their works echo Degas' statement: “Drawing is not form, it is a way of seeing form”[4]. In engravings and monotypes, Takenaka focuses on representing sensations and thoughts through lines and gestures, exploring the potential of line and its abstract and representative fields. For Chaim, drawing expands beyond the borders of paper. In his works, his body leaves marks that reflect the tension between imposed rules, such as the restricted color palette and the organic movements that challenge them.

Carlos Nunes and iah bahia double. Doubling is a verb that, in itself, has an interesting ambiguity: it means to double or turn an object so that one or more parts of it overlap. In the poetics of both artists, there is a desire to increase or decrease in size at the same time. Nunes creates rules to explore relationships between different compositional elements. His work often culminates (or part of) a gradual exhaustion of matter. In the exhibition, he presents an annual series of works with tissue paper that are folded by the artist and dyed by the sun. In bahia works, connections are established between abstract points and lines, creating defined territories. On the Serie Solitons, for example, she explores the shape of solitary atomic waves. By experimenting with forms through fabric, she develops a topological methodology, revealing a dual space that challenges traditional notions of inside and outside.

Nathalie Ventura and João Trevisan cavucam. “Cavucar” is an informal expression that means to investigate, explore or touch something with care or curiosity. By juxtaposing materials of different geological origin, Ventura excavates the fragility of lifestyles in the face of contemporary environmental and social challenges. In turn, Trevisan explores the relationships between tension, weight and lightness. In his paintings and drawings, layers superimposed over time reveal depth and chromatic variation. The artist, like Ventura, builds landscapes through excavations in matter.

III – marks on the hands

Touch is a sensation present throughout the skin. As Vergílio Ferreira writes: “In any part of the body we can indicate the presence of an object, the presence of reality”[5]. We could perhaps ask whether there are different types of touch: the touch that perceives things in the world and is distributed across the skin and the touch that manifests itself mainly in the hands, which reflects and prolongs the activity of the self.[6]. This last type of touch also creates memory and, over time, a kind of library of what was touched, understood and recognized by touch. Invisible marks are produced on the surfaces of our hands.
In the current exhibition space, there are different surface repertoires: from Japanese paper to craft, from charcoal to oil, from the sewing of the worn object to the bound one. The hot (such as paper) and cold (such as acrylic) materials and gestures perceived and explored by the artists' hands access the viewer's sensory library. A meeting is potentially created between sensibilities – of the artist and the spectator – and possible links between the self and the other: the desire felt in the body of those who see the works is to scratch, stretch, fold, dig... The hands make bridges between us and the world.


[1] MICHELET, Jules. The bird. T. Nelson, 1874.

[2] For a debate about the importance of different ways of storing throughout history, see: LE GUIN, Ursula K. The Theory of Fiction Scholarship. N-1 Editions, 2021.

[3] VALÉRY, Paul. Eupalinos the Architect y el Alma y la Danza. Antonio Machado Books, 2019.

[4] IdemDegas Dance Drawing. Publisher Cosac Naify, 2003.

[5] FERREIRA, Vergílio. Invocation to My Body. Bertrand, 1978, p. 273.

[6] Ibidem, P. 274.

Exhibition | In hands
From June 8th to August 10th
Monday to Friday from 11:00 to 19:00, Saturday from 11:00 to 15:00


June 8, 2024 11:00 - August 10, 2024 19:00(GMT-03:00)


Raquel Arnaud Gallery

Rua Fidalga, 125 – Vila Madalena, São Paulo - SP

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