Open Studio | Felipe Seixas

Working mostly with sculpture and installation, Felipe Seixas explores the properties of physical matters seeking to investigate notions of impermanence and immateriality.

Felipe Seixas. Untitled, 2019.

Felipe Seixas. Untitled, 2019.

About the Open Studio

Join us for an open studio with resident artist Felipe Seixas, as AnnexB participates in this year's Bushwick Open Studios (B.O.S.), one of the largest open studio events in the world. During the B.O.S., thousands of Bushwick-based artists open the doors of their studios to share their work with the public. In recent years, AnnexB has participated in this weekend-long celebration of art and community featuring works by former resident artists Alice Quaresma, Carla Chaim, Fernanda Mello, and Nino Cais. For this year, in collaboration with curators Nathalia Lavigne and Iara Pimenta, AnnexB presents a selection of recent works by Felipe Seixas, created over the course of the artist’s residency at AnnexB.

Saturday, September 21, 2019, at 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, September 22, 2019, at 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

203 Harrison Place, 3rd floor, studio 16

Brooklyn, NY 11237


What matters last

Text by Nathalia Lavigne and Iara Pimenta

The limits of matter and its ephemeral character have been a prominent aspect of Felipe Seixas' work. One of the strategies explored by the artist is the juxtaposition of elements with contrasting characteristics. Since his first experiments with concrete, he defies the solidity associated with this heavy industrial material in sculptures that seems about to collapse at any moment. Afterward, when he started to combine objects made in concrete with images created by a digital process, he introduced another central discussion about the immaterial aspect of the new technologies and its planned obsolescence. However stable their physical properties might seem, a sense of impermanence has always been present in Seixas' sculptures and installations.

If in works such as Fall and Transition (both from 2017) his computer-generated images are displayed on monitors, the artist later projected them directly on the wall along with dissolved asphalt mass and painting. By eliminating the medium in which the images were displayed, from which one can recognize its origin, he seems to evoke a ubiquitous aspect of media technologies and a central idea devised by David Bolter and Richard Grusin in their classic book Remediation: Understanding New Media (1999): "Our culture wants both to multiply its media and to erase all traces of mediation: ideally, it wants to erase its media in the very act of multiplying them."

Experiences with projection are what Seixas has been mostly working on during his residency at AnnexB–a nonprofit arts organization focused on the promotion of Brazilian art in New York. In the present works, Seixas continues his investigations of the impermanence of light and digital images in relationship to physical matter and the creation of new environments. The idea of (re)creating landscapes is also at play as the artist brings bits and pieces of familiar forms and colors to his works.

The conditions of AnnexB's studio space were also influential in the development of these works. The absence of a direct light played an important role for him to explore the subtle variations of colors in the digital images.

In the two installations, one can notice transitions between a vivid blue and a fluorescent lilac, and fading gradients that remind some afterimage experiments, when the pictures appear borderless or as a blur. While in one work what punctuates the shift is the addition of a dark matter on the wall, in the other one Seixas cleverly uses the line of the floor to separate the projection from the several stones made with black asphalt mass, as if creating a mirroring effect between the physical and abstract worlds.

The evanescent experience of gazing toward a view of the sky with its changing colors provides a sense of immensity—a similar effect the artist is interested in fostering in the last work here displayed, created in virtual reality. A landscape is a background for vertical neon lights that seem to arouse in the middle of a mountain in a boundless space. Once again, contrasting elements are brought together, but now they are used to question the artificiality of these immersive environments that offer a type of mimesis of the real world that became so generic and banal. In a time when the rise of new technologies has allowed digital images to provide a sensation of realism and materiality, Felipe Seixas' works seem to suggest that matter always last in any kind of space.

Felipe Seixas is an artist based in São Paulo, Brazil. Seixas explores the properties of physical matters seeking to investigate notions of impermanence and immateriality. His sculptures and installations incorporate materials such as concrete, sand, asphalt, charcoal, and lamps with TV and cellphone screens in compositions that establish dialogues between new technologies and the built environment. Seixas' works have been shown at the Royal Academy of Arts (England), Espacio a2 (Peru), Fundación ArtNexus (Colombia), XIX Bienal Internacional de Arte de Cerveira (Portugal), Caixa Cultural São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília (Brazil), and SESC Ribeirão Preto (Brazil).

Nathalia Lavigne is an art critic and curator, a contributor to Artforum International Magazine, Contemporary And (C&), among others. She is a PhD candidate in the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. Between November 2018 and April 2019, she was a visiting scholar at The New School.

Iara Pimenta is a researcher and curator interested in connections between art and architecture. She has collaborated with the conception and planning of exhibitions and public programs for institutions and projects such as Storefront for Art and Architecture, Residency Unlimited, and 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial.