Independent Review

December, 2010

Alexandre da Cunha
Peter Chapman

Thomas Gradgrind, the high priest of utilitarianism in Charles Dicken’sBleak House, was a man of “fact and calculations”, unlikely to be persuaded as to the point of the artist. He would surely have been doubly disappointed by the Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cuhna, who takes utilitarian objects – brooms, mops, sleeping bags – and turns them into pieces of art.

For his new show, Colorama,  da Cunha turns worn-out car tyres into a series of flower pots. Although such recycling is common in South America, it is unusual for them to be decorated in a way that references Modernist art. Alongside these are da Cunha’s framed paper works depicting icons from Brazilian popular culture.

The final element in the exhibition is a series of wall-hangings, which resembles abstract paintings but, in truth, have been carefully crafted out of material taken from rugs and deckchairs. Da Cunha’s talent is for a kind of visual sleight of hand: he takes something ordinary and turns it into an object of desire.

Vilma Gold, 25b Vyner Street,
London E2 (020-8981 3344)
to 3 Jul