My friend Rodrigo Naves says that it is a privilege to like art. I endorse him. Being a gallery owner gives me daily contact with art and artists, and the satisfaction of showing their creations to the general public.
My story on this path began with the discovery and passion for the art of the self-taught, the so called popular. It's an endless world of surprising discoveries that thrill me and take me in all directions.
But it's not just these that give me enthusiasm and joy. As a lover and consumer of art, sometimes more than I should, my curiosity has always led me in the direction of all artistic movements. I've always been following and appreciating good art.
That's why a few years ago in a natural movement, I opened myself up to work with contemporary art created today and exhibited in galleries, fairs and museums. Jose Bernô, Santidio Pereira, Germana Monte-Mór and André Ricardo are some of these artists.
In this exhibition, Galeria Estaç?o is pleased to present yet another talented young man, Deni Lantz. He is a painter, whom we met through his posts on Instagram, a current tool that provides the joys of discoveries. We decided to show you his work.
For months, the guest curator Ivo Mesquita worked with him in the studio. Through this daily interaction he selected the works presented here and wrote the text of this catalogue.
I hope you like it.
With his first exhibition at Galeria Estação, Deni demonstrated care in bringing his essence to the canvas by revealing what makes up his personality and lived experience. Since Deni is only 29 years old, Ivo Mesquita (curator of the exhibition) spent some time in Lantz's studio seeking to guide him and at the same time learn about a new generation. This series of works started right at the beginning of the pandemic, taking approximately a year and a half to complete. Regarding the theme, Ivo mentions culture and how the exhibition tells a story whose plot develops as the colors are delicately spread over the canvas.
His artistic style is extremely interesting; with his mixtures of palettes. The somewhat "unreal" colors give a hint of mystery and bring an essence that allows the viewer to think, analyze, question, get lost and then question again, until one makes his or her own deduction simply because there are no right answers.
Deni has a distinct process of thinking for days about his work and making slight alterations, as great artists of the past did. He himself says that to complete a canvas, he must find a light that he had not yet seen, but knew that he would find it.
A perfectionist perspective does not flow through his brushes. There are several imperfect traits that bring a "perfect" fruit, perhaps not perfect but exceptionally striking.
His work is also based on the musical spectrum, mainly around samba. The variation of rhythms of the genre is mentioned, as the guitar fingering often goes out of tune or the drum suddenly appears over the bass. The reco-reco enters without warning: this is the beauty of this musical genre, as well as of Deni’s works.
Pedro Philipp (August/22)
Deni Lantz: Paintings
Painter Deni Lantz likes samba. Or rather, he is also an instrumentalist and singer of samba and drum carrying public exhibitions. He is a citizen with a wide interest in vegetable gardens, agriculture and renewable forestry. Yes, he paints landscapes from direct observation more than from memory, and country sides almost as still lives. But one can say that his painting is abstract; a concept and a practice more than a narrative theme. Hence, in this movement between different environments, his work can be perceived as if a deep reflection on the paintings were disturbed by an external disorder and, at the same time, the opposite is the case. The external disorder is mitigated in the depth of reflection. For him, painting is an indeterminate spiritual narrative layered with affection and meaning.
Graduated in Visual Arts from Unicamp as a teenager, Lantz frequently attended Casa da Xiclet, an alternative space for emerging artists at Vila Madalena, in São Paulo. He learned how to paint portraits with Juan José Balzi (1933-2017) when he discovered Rembrandt and Velásquez. Later while in college, he delved into this art and also engraving while working with Ernesto Bonato (1968). The originality of his work reflects the artist's transition between the real world of his direct and overwhelming experience and a deep dive into the silent materiality of colors that included the solitary handling of media, the obsessive gesture and the repetition of doing. Abstract painting in turn dispenses with any unequivocal relationship between signifier and signified which brings it closer to another artistic system: music. It is not by chance that both disciplines lend vocabulary to each other when they talk about rhythm, expression, gesture, composition, dynamics, coloratura, tones and lines, among other things. The relationship between them is at the origin of the work and thought of the first abstract painter, Vassily Kandisnky.
The set of works that constitute this first show by the artist was produced between 2020 and 2022. This is during the pandemic. It is not intended, however, to be a comment on it, but rather to mark the circumstance in which the process of thinking and producing these paintings began, which included virtual studio sessions with Paulo Pasta. Hence the predilection for small formats, favorable to a quick recording and experimentation. They worked like pages of a diary that is always open with unfinished entries. Containing a palette based on white, green, scarlet and blue – pasty or liquefied in wax, pure or dirty like bad painting – the canvases lined up on the studio wall are like pages ripped from an unlikely calendar. It is as if it was redrawn not only by the new canvases that appeared every day, but above all from days gone by, reworked as a new present.
A bowl, among other similar and diverse objects on the tables in the studio, suddenly highlighted a shape and its shadows on the plane. The extensive series of Cumbucas (Bowls), almost always in square, ink and wax formats and worked with a spatula and short, hard brushes, bridges the gap between representation and abstraction through a simplification of shapes and colors tending to monochrome. However, they have different intensities that range from opaque transparency as in watercolors to a saturation of the plane with successive layers of paint and procedures that seal everything below the textured surface like a musical improvisation. The individuality of each of the images resides in the wide range of atmospheres they reveal: rough, dreamy, dirty, elegant, ironic, light and deep. They are constituted as an écriture: the painting as a sign that speaks of its material constitution – form, color and gesture (writing) – for the syntactic integration of the image as a whole. This can also be seen in another series: Drink. It is where an idea of ??a glass marks boundaries between different gestures with the brush and color, floating between the total abstraction of brushstrokes and matter and the visual suggestion of something familiar or remembered. Lantz doesn't look for something in the painting but instead hopes that something will be found there.
Another important reference in the artist's pictorial rumination can also be seen in the studio: a table and the diagonal shadow of its feet. Although these lines appear in different sizes, they are more noticeable in larger formats. They structure the planes that receive more or less pictorial matter and determine both the rhythm, intensity and extension of the artist's gesture with the brush in each one of the parts. This can be seen, for example, in the evocative and monochromatic Untitled (orange landscape) and Untitled (pink landscape).
But it is monochrome, the idiom of contemporary art, with his interpretation of it and of the tradition it represents in modern painting that Lantz seems to have made an important focus for his work. He certainly neither deals with the purity and essentialism of masters like Rothko nor with the industrial and liberating cynicism of Warhol. He builds his surfaces made of many superimposed layers of gestures, requests, erasures, nuanced on a dense surface like Untitled (magenta) or as in Pérolas, calos das conchas I e II (Pearls, calluses from shells I and II). They are both covered by a saturated white, tactile and move like the formation of clouds, between opaque and luminous. Lantz bets on the physical exploration of painting and on the visual sensation delivered by color.
The works gathered in this exhibition are accompanied by a set of "drawings" – considering the Immediacy of the images – which are part of the same daily experiences as in the paintings. Without frames but with uniform formats, they are presented on a table as they are created. Neither projects nor finished works, they are records of the daily process of thinking about painting and even experimenting with natural pigments such as earth and propolis, later used on some canvases. Viewed horizontally, they help to question certain rules about the ways of looking and doing.
In some works. Lantz brings the physicality of painting into play, as an object at the same time as an image, emphasizing its gestalt in the manner of the minimalists. He extends the painting to the sides of the canvas. This is a kind of no man's land, left aside, almost always discarded by artists and covered by frames. It is used by him to accentuate the materiality and autonomy of the object, as well as to contrast its relationship with the wall and the primacy of the frontal look in the painting. He forces the observer to move to a diagonal view of the pictorial plane. As if the work reacted more intensely to the wall than a work confined to a frame. Hence, in the exhibition, the decision to present works with or without frames is at the artist's discretion. It's about aesthetic responsibility.
Portuguese artist and painter Julião Sarmento, who died last year, once said in an interview: “So, painting is dead?! That’s ok. This means we can do whatever we want.” Photography, cinema, installation or any other medium did not kill painting; nor have conceptual art and institutional criticism bury it. Painting persists despite and because of its long history of being something so rich, complex and always captivating. It is part of the real world. Like the music and the landscape.
Ah, in time, along with Deni's first exhibition, Tom, the artist's first son also came to light.
GALERIA ESTAÇÃO PRESENTS THE FIRST SOLO SHOW OF DENI LANTZ
Curated by Ivo Mesquita the exhibition brings together around 50 paintings that transit the subtle limit between figurative and abstract. From August 12 to September 24.
Gallery owner Vilma Eid’s attentive and curious look always surprises us with her discoveries. An avid lover and consumer of art, she continuously observes all artistic currents. “A few years ago, I naturally opened myself up to work with contemporary art produced and exhibited in galleries, fairs and museums. In this exhibition we are pleased to introduce yet another talented young man, Deni Lantz. Through his posts on Instagram, we got to know him and decided to bring his work to the public”, says the owner of Galeria Estação. The journalist and Master in Art History Ivo Mesquita, who worked with the painter for months in his studio, was invited by Vilma to curate the works gathered in this artist's first solo show.
Deni Lantz: Pinturas (Deni Lantz: Paintings), is the exhibition that will be installed in the cultural space in Pinheiros from August 12th and will be on display until September 24th. It hosts a series of paintings produced between 2020 and 2022, which, according to Mesquita, express the originality of Lantz's work. “This characteristic reflects the artist's transit between the real world, his direct and overwhelming experience, and a deep dive into the silent materiality of colors, the solitary handling of the media, the obsessive gesture and the repetition of doing”, he says. Also according to the curator, expressing oneself through abstract art dispenses with any unequivocal relationship between signifier and signified, a factor that, according to Mesquita, brings it closer to another artistic system: music. “It is not by chance that both subjects lend vocabulary to each other when they talk about rhythm, expression, gesture, composition, dynamics, coloratura, tones and lines, among others”, he contextualizes.
Memories, abstraction and monochrome
In the painter's own words, his paintings evoke memories and echoes of the real world, objects and motifs that he chooses to inhabit the subtle limit between the figurative and the abstract. According to Lantz, the fatura plays a central role in his painting practice. Between pentimenti, overlays, sometimes with more pasty brushstrokes, multiple layers of paint, sometimes faster and more superficial, he explores different ways of putting paint on canvas and revealing or veiling the motifs that tension his compositions.
With a more fluid transit in abstraction and monochrome than in still life or landscape, the materiality of his paintings becomes more protagonist than the chosen themes. In this sense, beeswax is an important material for the artist, since it provides transparency, paste and matteness at the same time; the brushes, short and hard, deposit and remove the paint at the same time. For him, in his craft, how to paint and what to paint are parts of the same question.
About his debut with a solo show at Galeria Estação, Lantz says that, despite working with painting for several years, this exhibition brings together more mature works, fruits of a more recent period that have been more concise in the last two and a half years. “Ivo and I managed to gather a very significant set of the moment of this painting. Because I was more mature, it also allowed me to feel more excited about showing these works. For me this exhibition means the beginning of a long trajectory in the visual arts, the birth of a body of work that I believe will last a lifetime”, he says. He adds that he could not fail to mention that, in the year he has his first solo show, his first son, Tom, was also born. “Two events that come to add to my personal and professional trajectory, crowning this moment. A very intense and rewarding change that has made me grow a lot as an artist and as an individual,” he says.
Today, when reviewing the paintings selected for Galeria Estação, Mesquita affirms that the individuality of each of the images resides in a wide range of atmospheres, from the harsh to the dreamlike, from the elegant to the ironic, from the light to the densest. “They are constituted as an écriture, the painting as a sign that speaks of its material constitution – form, color and gesture (writing) – for the syntactic integration of the image as a whole”, he evaluates. Going further, the master rambles on: “Lantz does not look for something in the painting, but instead hopes that something will be found there”.
As with other exhibitions that it hosts, Galeria Estação will promote, on 9/20, at 7pm, a face-to-face chat between painter Paulo Pasta, curator Ivo Mesquita and Deni Lentz. With free admission, the event will be broadcast live through the gallery channel on Youtube (https://bit.ly/geyoutube22).
ABOUT DENI LANTZ
Born in 1993 in São Paulo, where he lives and works. Graduated in Visual Arts from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), he attended and exhibited in several exhibitions at Casa da Xiclet Galeria, in São Paulo. At the age of 13, he studied painting with the Argentine artist Juan José Balzi (1933-2017) and later, in 2012, he worked as an assistant to the artist Ernesto Bonato (1968) at Projeto Maré 0.1, as a printer of large format woodcuts. In 2020 he also had the follow-up of the artist Paulo Pasta. With participation in about ten group shows, he did an artistic residency in Havana (Cuba) in 2016.
ABOUT IVO MESQUITA
Graduated in Journalism (1972) and with a BA in Art History (1975) from the University of São Paulo. He served as artistic director of the Pinacoteca do Estado (2012-2015) and as chief curator of the same museum from 2002 to 2012. He was also chief curator of the 28th Bienal de São Paulo (2008), and artistic director of the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo – MAM (1999-2002). As a curator, he has organized exhibitions in museums in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the United States and Canada. For more than a decade he was a visiting professor at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York, United States. He lives and works in São Paulo.
ABOUT GALERIA ESTAÇÃO
With a collection among the pioneers and most important in the country, Galeria Estação, opened at the end of 2004 by Vilma Eid and Roberto Eid Philipp, established itself for revealing and promoting the production of non-erudite Brazilian art. Its performance was decisive for the inclusion of this language in the contemporary art circuit, when the gallery edited publications and held individual and group exhibitions under the eyes of the main curators and critics in the country. The roster, which started to occupy a significant space in the specialized media, has also conquered the international scene by participating, among others, in the exhibitions “Histoire de Voir”, at the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain (France), in 2012, and in the Bienal “Between two Seas – São Paulo | Valencia”, in Spain, in 2007. Emblematic of this international performance was the individual exhibition “Veio – Cícero Alves dos Santos”, in Venice, in a parallel show to the Bienalle, in 2013. In Brazil, in addition to individual and prestigious group shows, the gallery's artists have their works important Brazilian collections and institutions of great prestige and recognition, such as the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, the São Paulo Museum of Art, the Afro Brasil Museum (São Paulo), the Brazilian Cultures Pavilion (São Paulo), Instituto Itaú Cultural (São Paulo), Sesc São Paulo, MAM – Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and MAR, in the state capital.
DENI LANTZ: PINTURAS / DENI LANTZ: PAINTINGS
When: 8/12 to 9/24
Where: Galeria Estação
Address: Rua Ferreira Araújo, 625 – Pinheiros, São Paulo
Vernissage: 12/8, from 5-9pm
Chat with Paulo Pasta, Ivo Mesquita and Deni Lantz: 9/20, at 7 pm, in person, free
Live broadcast on Youtube (https://bit.ly/geyoutube22)
Monday to Friday, from 11am to 7pm
Saturday, from 11am to 3pm
Closed on Sundays
Tel: + 55 11 3813-7253