Hugo Canoilas: Unfaithful to daydreams

29 September - 5 November 2016


Unfaithful to daydreams 

29th September - 5th November 2016




WORKPLACE is delighted to announce ‘Unfaithful to daydreams’ a solo presentation of Portuguese artist Hugo Canoilas' work at its Mayfair space.

The works in the exhibition reference myriad sources from the philosophy, literature and cultural ideologies of Modernism – from existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, to jazz musi- cian and composer Ornette Coleman. Canoilas’ paintings are informed by the dynamics that underpin contemporary culture and are explored by the artist through the relationship of text, collage, and painting. The exhibition looks retrospectively at Canoilas' practice, bringing together a series of 20 paintings on canvas, aluminium and paper.


In ‘Not even one more soldier’ Canoilas has photographed a makeshift intervention in an urban envi- ronment. The words NEM MAIS UM SOLDADO are stenciled upon a discarded plank of wood. Print- ed in black and white, and collaged over similar photographs, Canoilas has then painted over the sur- face in a bright yellow at odds with the muted scene. The resulting image oscillates between protest and gesture and is both poignant and potent. No meu sonho você (In My Dream You), 2013, is a col- lage of photographic images of a womans face taken from multiple angles, ripped and pasted togeth- er onto a sheet of unstretched canvas. The work is portrait of an anonymous woman, surreal, cine- matic and kaleidoscopic in style. It emulates a fragment of a memory or a dream.



This relationship between the immediate yet ambiguous nature of seeing an image, with the slower yet rationally coherent activity of reading text is central to Canoilas’ practice. Through exploiting the resulting dissonance between the two visual languages Canoilas moves towards what Martinican poet and philosopher Èdouard Glissant describes as Creolisation - achieving an openness towards the other through a composite hybridity. For Canoilas this aesthetic strategy emerges from a Postcolonial critique of his own Portuguese identity, and seeks to move the viewer both to an awareness of socio- political undercurrents, and inwardly towards a position between reading and interpretation, enabling a psychological projection of an inner world.



Hugo Canoilas was born in 1977 in Lisbon, Portugal and studied at Caldas da Rainha, Portugal and theRoyal College of Art, UK; He lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Recent Exhibitions and projects include: When elephants march in, curated my Mark Kremer at De Appel, Amsterdam, NL; Someone a long time ago, now, curated by Sophia Hao at Cooper Gallery - DCJAD, Dundee, UK; Performance proletarians, curated by Benjamin Valenza and Lili Renaud Dewar at Le Magasin, Grenoble, FR and Istituto Svizzero, Rome, IT; Spirit of the Air, Wiener Art Foundation, hosted by Kun- stbuero, Vienna; Magma, Workplace Gateshead, UK; Paradise Birds - 30th São Paulo Biennial A iminência das poéticas, Museum Casa do Bandeirante, São Paulo; Untitled (we can be altogether), curated by José Quaresma, MNAC - Chiado Museum, Lisbon; Vota Octávio Pato - Ten reasons to be a member, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Strata, Sammlung Lenikus, Vienna; Infinite Tasks, Gul- benkian Museum, Lisbon; Dear painter paint me - with heart and reason, Trafó Contemporary Art Center, Budapest. Canoilas is currently developing a major project for MNAC - Chiado Museum in Portugal opening in November 2016.