Holding the Horizon
Dimensions Variable (DV) presents a solo project by Caracas, Venezuela-born, São Paolo, Brazil-based artist Ricardo Alcaide titled Holding the Horizon. Alcaide will be building site specific rectangular structures along the gallery floor using an ongoing color palette represented in many recent works. Alcaide examines constructed lived-in environments. His minimal aesthetic is influenced by modernist architecture and his site specific works reflect on the social implications of urban planning and ghettoisation.
In 2015, Ricardo Alcaide encountered a public artwork painted on the wall of a parking lot in Miami; it had the inscription We Live in a Rainbow of Chaos. Such phrase, attributed to Paul Cezanne, propelled the artist to start a chromatic investigation based on a distinguishable palette of colors reminiscent of Isaac Newton’s sevenfold rainbow sequence. In Holding the Horizon, his project produced specifically for Dimensions Variable (DV), he continues this line of research. Horizon is an installation with a strong pictorial intention. Reminiscent of minimalist sculpture, it is composed of seven rectangular blocks made out of MDF with an industrial finish. Their top is painted with Alcaide’s palette whilst the lateral sides are painted in gray tones as well as white and black. Such tones and colors reinforce horizontality and a sense of grounding and, simultaneously, provoke that the artist’s rainbow colors acquire a unique intensity and relevance.
The second piece that employs this selection of colors is Unity (2021). This work consists of seven casted hands that emerge from the wall and hold together a steel bar, horizontally. The hands are impregnated with color, a condition that can cause certain perceptual indeterminacy, blurring their contour. Besides carrying a specific color, each of the seven hands is also unique in the sense that they were cast individually. This diverse group of hands gathers in a common task, holding a bar as if marking a horizon. For Alcaide, “holding the horizon” is a metaphor for maintaining stability, “to hold the sight in the horizon in order to avoid imbalance, with the senses aligned to overcome a specific moment.”
For this show, Alcaide has produced other works in which he uses casts of hands. In these pieces, the hands are white and perform several actions. In Verticality (2021), a hand is used to show the pull of gravity, by holding a piece of thread with an object tied at its bottom. The hand in Sense of Direction (2017) holds a steel frame diagonally as if suggesting forward movement or direction. In this way, Alcaide’s sculptures remark the potential of the hand to communicate, sense, measure, and interact with the world. Moreover, these hands also refer to the relevance of a tactile dimension in the process of perception and as a form of engagement with everyday life—a disposition at the core of Alcaide’s practice. Holding concrete, with its title, highlights the importance given to the haptic. The hand in Feeling the past holds a remnant of a demolished construction. The fragment still carries, in one of its sides, a smooth surface made out of mosaics, forming a regular grid. The other side is rough concrete. As such, this piece of debris seems to embody a tension often signaled by the artist in his work between (modern) ideals or rational plans and the actual and harsh material conditions and circumstances of everyday life.
Ricardo Alcaide (b. 1967 in Caracas, Venezuela / Lives and works in São Paolo, Brazil) examines constructed lived-in environments. His minimal aesthetic is influenced by modernist architecture and his site specific works reflect on the social implications of urban planning and exclusion. The artist has exhibited internationally, recent solo and group exhibitions include Holding the Horizon, Dimensions Variable, Miami; Remains, curated by Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo (2021); Anthology Of Art And Architecture, Fortes D’aloia & Gabriel gallery, Sao Paulo; A Matter Of, Dimension Variable, Miami; So What?, Arroniz Arte Contemporaneo. Mexico City (2020); Sunset, von Bartha Basel, S-chanf; Hiato, SIM Galeria, São Paulo; Presque Rien, Geukens & De Vil Contemporary Art, Antwerp (2019); Nunca fuimos contemporáneos, XIII Bienal Femsa, Zacatecas; The cave wall was always there, Galeria Pelaires, Palma de Mallorca; Geometria em Síntese, Simoes de Assis Galeria, Sao Paulo; Jardim das delicia com juizio final, Galeria Cavalo, Rio de Janeiro (2018); Ricardo Alcaide , von Bartha Basel, Basel (2017); Down The Line , Johannes Vogt gallery, New York; Projeto Situ , Galeria Leme, São Paulo (2016); Not Much Further , Arroniz Arte Contemporaneo. Mexico DF; Forma critica , Cristinger De Mayo Gallery, Zurich; Displacement, Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Miami (2015); Settlements, Baro galeria, São Paulo; The Language Of Human Consciousness, Athr gallery, Jeddah. Saudi Arabia; Ensaios Sobre Ordem, Kubik Gallery, Porto; Donde Hay Protesta Hay Negocio, Galería Agustina Ferreyra, curadora Marina Reyes Franco, San Juan de Puerto Rico (2014) Solo Project, Curador Jose Roca. PintaNY Art Fair, New York; Incidental Geometry, Josee Bienvenu Gallery, New York; Visão Do Paraiso: Pensamento Selvagem, curadoria de Julieta Gonzalez e Pablo Leon de la Barra, Rio de Janeiro; From Disruption To Abstraction, New Art Projects Gallery, London; Una Forma De Desorden Invasivo , Galería Lucia de la Puente, Lima (2013); Prototipo Vernacular , Galeria Oficina #1, Caracas, Venezuela; Optimismo Radical , Josee Bienvenu Gallery, Nova Iorque (2012).