30 March - 4 May 2013

Workplace Gallery is pleased to present Magma a solo exhibition or new and recent works by Portuguese artist Hugo Canoilas.


With its foundations in painting, Canoilas' work is often collaborative and incorporates video, sound, sculpture and performance as well as research-based projects. Over the last decade painting has led him to establish a dialogue between abstraction and a style that nods towards social realism painting. With a strong interest in modernism and literature, Canoilas' practice revisits histories from a political, poetic, religious or existentialist perspective and has a capacity to be in a limbo between some of these subjects.


For the past 3 years Canoilas has been collecting pages from free newspapers both at home and whilst travelling. Each page is selected either because of his inability to understand or comprehend the content both in terms of language and subject. These pages then form the ground for a series of paintings made ‘blind’ in which Canoilas presses the paper face down into paint. For Workplace Gallery, Canoilas has collaged a collection of these works by overlaying specifically selected and framed works with paintings
projected from transparencies on analogue overhead projectors.


For his recent installation Paradise Birds – at 30th São Paulo Biennial - Canoilas created a series of epic scaled paintings on unframed, unprepared canvas using a process of dipping, staining, and drawing in Ink rather than paint. Depicting characters who first explored the interior territories of Brazil the paintings move between figuration and abstraction, performance and propaganda calling into question the status of both the works as art objects and their subjects as either national hero or political tools.


Magma brings together a collection of works that explore Canoilas’ ongoing enquiry into the potential for his work to operate between media, structure and meaning.


‘My work has a wide range of possibilities in terms of aesthetic and how medium takes shape. It has a lot to do with the multiplicity of events that take place in front of me and its infinite possibilities. My work many times acts as a diagram that condenses a lot of different layers where all the social, the political, and the overall aesthetic come together. I do a lot of paintings and it always derives from this chaos. You have so many images in your head and some give you the responsibility to jump over, some are ways that let you go in a certain direction. We still have the positive and affirmative energy that can be brought to this world. The works come from this idea, it looks very complex, but at the end, it is very easy and natural. I just can’t explain it in an easier way.’


Hugo Canoilas, 2013.