Pedro Cabrita Reis: One Place and Another
Tracy Williams Ltd.
313 bis West 4 Street
New York NY 10014
212 229 2757
March 13 to May 1, 2004
Amid the jostling artworks comprising the recent Armory Show an unusually serene sculpture took up the central area of one of the booths. Constructed of weathered wood, pieces of extruded aluminum door panels and a fluorescent light fixture, it was a little over seven feet high and was bisected diagonally by a standard hollow core door. It stood on four spindly corners. The viewer could just about walk under it. The work might have been done by a master flower arranger: harmony of elements was achieved through careful attention, but here the effect was brought forth from a collection of remnants from an office building site. The work was by Pedro Cabrita Reis, a Portuguese artist who has shown widely in Europe.
“One Place and Another,” an exhibition of recent work by Reis, has opened at a new gallery, Tracy Williams Ltd., located on the garden level and first floor of a townhouse in the West Village. The intimate scale of the gallery magnifies both the harshness of Reis’ materials and the warm poetry of their assemblage, a hybrid of painting, sculpture and architecture.
A tower-like structure, “Favorite Places #5,” (2004) with dangling wire and a peeking scrap of wood paneling, took up the main room. Close proximity enfolded the viewer in its odd spaces. Reis is partial to auto paint, which is introduced into most of the works. He is a lyrical colorist, partial to tan, off-aqua and woody orange. Two wall-mounted reliefs were made from metal angles that held thick sheets of glass painted from behind. These works created a kind of wall screen/picture that echoed the moments when one passes storefronts on the street. They are also reminiscent of traveling by public transportation–another experience of shuffling pictures. Elsewhere, two shiny aluminum tables were partially adjoined in an almost embarrassing embrace.
The title piece, “One Place or Another,” (2004) was a simple shelf attached to the wall above a small pile of bricks that situated itself in ineffable repose. Reis’ choice to work with these materials enables the viewer to reconstruct a common urban experience in new terms. Our interactions within the spaces of modern buildings are lent a quiet magic, as if the artist is bestowing us with his own imaginative power that we can take along with us to the office.