Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto | Paris | April 9–May 28, 2022 | David Zwirner
An installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, New York, dated 2022

Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto

David Zwirner is pleased to present Assum Preto, an exhibition of new and recent works by Brazilian artist Lucas Arruda, on view at the gallery’s Paris location. This marks the artist’s third solo presentation with the gallery.

Arruda’s paintings are intricate, meditative compositions that blur the boundaries between mnemonic and imaginative registers, while bringing into form a complex rendition of landscapes that is more a product of a state of mind than a depiction of reality. As Paulo Pasta writes in a recent essay on the artist’s work, “Lucas Arruda’s painting draws to itself the qualities and possibilities of the best painting: the long attention, the demanding and sensitive production, the ability to make the relationship between ‘what’ and ‘how’ flow harmoniously. He does this in an equally powerful manner, because, while it alludes to painting’s past, to its grandeur (lost?), his painting also accompanies us in the present. Wouldn’t we be there, in the enjoyment of his work, separated from the tension of the present? I think it would be the opposite: by turning on this visionary light, he also makes us feel and see the obscurity and dissension of our times.

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1 Lucas Arruda, in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, April 2018; reproduced in Lucas Arruda (Paris: Éditions Cahiers d’Art, 2018), p. 86.

Image: Installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, 2022

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
Oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (24 x 30 cm)

Titled after a species of blackbird native to eastern Brazil—whose mundane birdsong, according to local tradition, is said to transform into a beautiful melody if the bird’s eyesight has been shaded—Assum Preto continues Lucas Arruda’s investigations into light and darkness, and their metaphysical effects.

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on canvas
11 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (30 x 30 cm)

As the artist observes, blindness makes the birds look internally and sing in an organized harmony. Describing the inspiration behind the new works, Arruda states: “When thinking about light, I recall a song my father used to sing me. It is the story of a Brazilian bird called Assum Preto.… It somehow illustrates the separation between the light we experience and its metaphysical aspects.… I think light is what binds my works together.”

A detail of a painting by Lucas Arruda called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022 (detail)

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022 (detail)

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2019.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2019
Oil on wood panel
9 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches (23.5 x 29.8 cm)
A detail of a painting by 	 Lucas Arruda called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2019

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2019 (detail)

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2019 (detail)

The new works in this exhibition—including seascapes, jungles, and monochromes—are abstract scenes painted from memory. “I don’t think of myself as a landscape painter,” Arruda explains. “It’s the idea of a landscape rather than a real place.… And also trying to uncover a mental dimension, a mood, a sensation, a state of mind suspended within the medium of paint.”

An installation view of Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, dated 2022

Installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, 2022

Installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, 2022

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
Oil on canvas
11 3/4 x 14 7/8 inches (30 x 38 cm)

Through his evocative and textured brushwork, Arruda foregrounds the materiality and physicality of paint while also recalling the genre's historical associations with the Romantic sublime.

A detail of a painting by Lucas Arruda called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021 (detail)

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021 (detail)

A detail of a painting by Lucas Arruda called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022 (detail)

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022 (detail)

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on canvas
7 7/8 x 7 7/8 inches (20 x 20 cm)

“As well as consciously reflecting on different traditions in the history of art, such as nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European and South American painting or postwar American abstraction, Arruda’s paintings manifest a tireless striving to capture time in its inscrutability.“


—Moritz Wesseler, Director, Museum Fridericianum

An oil on canvas painting by Armando Reverón, titled Cabo Blanco - White Cape, dated 1941

Armando Reverón, Cabo Blanco - White Cape, 1941, oil on canvas, 18.25 X 28.25” (46.36 x 71.76 cm)

Armando Reverón, Cabo Blanco - White Cape, 1941, oil on canvas, 18.25 X 28.25” (46.36 x 71.76 cm)

An oil on plywood painting by Alberto da Veiga Guignard, titled Ouro Preto: St. John's Eve, dated 1942,

Alberto da Veiga Guignard, Ouro Preto: St. John's Eve, 1942, oil on plywood, 31.5 x 23.63" (80 x 60 cm) © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY

Alberto da Veiga Guignard, Ouro Preto: St. John's Eve, 1942, oil on plywood, 31.5 x 23.63" (80 x 60 cm) © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
Oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (24 x 30 cm)
An installation view of Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, dated 2022

Installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, 2022

Installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, 2022

“Arruda, for his part, counts on the viewer’s ability to focus, to narrow the gaze so that even something small can become psychologically vast.”

 

—Barry Schwabsky, Lucas Arruda: Deserto-Modelo

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
oil on canvas
7 1/8 x 9 1/2 inches (18 x 24 cm)

“Many of the artist’s works are characterized by a propensity for abstraction; their association with landscape is often only suggested by a horizon line, visible to varying degrees … the subject appears to have become a pretext for the artist to largely devote himself to exploring the possibilities offered by painting itself.”


—Moritz Wesseler

A detail of a painting by  Lucas Arruda called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021 (detail)

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021 (detail)

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on linen
31 1/2 x 37 3/4 inches (80 x 96 cm)

“Then there are works that are easy to categorize as abstraction: monochromes, more or less—floating, horizontal rectangles of deep color.… They might easily put you in mind of Mark Rothko.”


—Barry Schwabsky

Lucas Arruda studio image

 Lucas Arruda’s studio, São Paulo, Brazil, 2022

 Lucas Arruda’s studio, São Paulo, Brazil, 2022

“If the mode of the jungle is transpiration and the mode of the seascape is evaporation, then with Arruda’s large-scale monochromes we move to sublimation, passing directly from solid matter into vapor.”

 

—Will Chancellor, Lucas Arruda: Deserto-Modelo

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on linen
31 1/2 x 37 3/4 inches (80 x 96 cm)
Lucas Arruda studio image

Lucas Arruda’s studio, São Paulo, Brazil, 2022

Lucas Arruda’s studio, São Paulo, Brazil, 2022

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2020.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2020
Oil on canvas
72 7/8 x 55 1/8 inches (185 x 140 cm)

The largest work on view marks a departure in Arruda’s practice. Drawing on traditional compositional solutions in Brazilian art and recalling the motifs of Hilma af Klint, Arruda approaches abstraction through a visual language that is both geometric and atmospheric.

A detail of a painting by Lucas Arruda called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2020

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2020 (detail)

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2020 (detail)

A detail of a painting by Lucas Arruda called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2020

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2020 (detail)

Lucas Arruda, Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2020 (detail)

An installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, New York, dated 2022

Installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, 2022

Installation view, Lucas Arruda: Assum Preto, David Zwirner, Paris, 2022

“His compositions tend toward the margins of the day when things lose their edges: dawn, twilight, or night. When viewed in sequence, it is as if we are witnessing the passing of the hours in a suspended, indefinable space.”

 

—Fernanda Brenner, Lucas Arruda

Lucas Arruda studio image

Lucas Arruda, 2020. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Lucas Arruda, 2020. Photo: Jason Schmidt

Inquire about works by Lucas Arruda

A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on linen
31 1/2 x 37 3/4 inches (80 x 96 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on linen
31 1/2 x 37 3/4 inches (80 x 96 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on canvas
11 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (30 x 30 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on canvas
7 7/8 x 7 7/8 inches (20 x 20 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2019.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2019
Oil on wood panel
9 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches (23.5 x 29.8 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
oil on canvas
7 1/8 x 9 1/2 inches (18 x 24 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2020.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2020
Oil on canvas
14 7/8 x 17 3/8 inches (38 x 44 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2019.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2019
oil on canvas
11 3/4 x 13 3/8 inches (30 x 34 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
Oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (24 x 30 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
Oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (24 x 30 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2022.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2022
Oil on canvas
15 3/4 x 18 7/8 inches (40 x 48 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2020.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2020
Oil on canvas
72 7/8 x 55 1/8 inches (185 x 140 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
Oil on canvas
11 3/4 x 14 7/8 inches (30 x 38 cm)
A painting by Lucas Arruda, called Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), dated 2021.

Lucas Arruda

Untitled (from the Deserto-Modelo series), 2021
Oil on canvas
9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (24 x 30 cm)

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          Assum Preto

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