Modern Painters

February 2012
Private View – New York

Alexandre da Cunha makes art with mops, ironing boards, and bracelets












Couple II, 2010. Concrete bench 
and foam, 63 x 52 x 29½ in.

Kentucky (Divider), 2011. mop heads, 
metal rods, and hooks, 79 x 95 x 12 in.  

“There is a dressing-up element that has to do with the idea of aspiration,” says Alexandre da Cunha of his desire to take simple everyday materials and domestic objects and “expand their existence in the world.” This includes mop heads, which acquire a distinct geometric appeal when knotted together in the sculpture Kentucky (Divider), 2011, that hangs by a metal rod from the ceiling at CRG Gallery. Also on view from February 23 through March 31 is a series of small totems, entitled “Busts,” that refers to figurative sculpture, using dyed wool, concrete, and additional mop heads.

Da Cunha is fascinated by the cultural significance of objects and their relationship to notions of labor, trade, and value. For his new group of metal sculptures, he utilized everyday materials and domestic objects: utensils, ironing boards, bracelets, and vases made of aluminum, copper, and steel. The neo-Minimalist assemblages carry loose associations with their chosen objects’ everyday functions, although such associations swiftly unravel.

There is no doubt that the U.K.–based artist has been predisposed toward offbeat approaches to creativity by having been born and raised in Brazil, a nation famous for its resourcefulness, recycling, and innovative problem solving. “Regardless of social class, Brazilians are likely to be constantly exposed to changes and instability,” da Cunha says. “The culture has been immersed in the notion of improvisation.” —Jill Feldman

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