Josée Bienvenu Gallery
Warm & Cool
Shahrzad Kamel Sergio Sister
Josee Bienvenu is pleased to present Warm & Cool, a dialogue between Shahrzad Kamel and Sergio Sister, two artists from different generations and cultural backgrounds, who share a common attention to light, surface and composition through minimal gestures, stripping photography, or painting of their representational status.
Shahrzad Kamel (born 1979) was raised by Iranian parents between London and Istanbul. She received her MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York where she lives and works. In 2016 she had a solo exhibition at Ab/Anbar Gallery in Tehran, Iran. Working with the photographic medium, Kamel challenges photographic methods to create ambiguous minimal abstractions. Through manipulation of photographic paper and chemical processing, she achieves varying tones and textures in her work creating a kind of deception of surface. Her compositions are the result of folding and unfolding the photographic paper, sanding away a layer of gelatin, or adding graphite to achieve variations in tone, surface and composition. Her works incorporate subtle traces of industrial materials like paper clips, adhesive dots, magnets and tape. A series of folded monochromes include minute color interventions of plastic pin heads. The work stages a deep concern with the disintegration of traditional analog photography and its new status in an era where the medium is replaced by the screen as its ubiquitous support. Her work has been exhibited at the Soncino Biennale in Italy in 2015, The Southeast Museum of Photography in Florida, the Art Institute of Atlanta and the Watkins College of Art.
Sergio Sister’s monochromatic paintings offer a striking counterpoint to these shades of black and grey, bringing out the subtleties of light and texture of his surfaces. Playing with scale and nuanced variation, the layers of opaque color in Sister's intimate paintings conceal a symbiotic color from beneath. Gestural brushstrokes and layers of pigment generate luminous vibrations of texture that convey both emergence and disappearance across the surface of the canvas. Furthermore, both artists explore synergies between warm and cool that simultaneously absorb and reflect light.
Sergio Sister (born 1947) lives and works in Sao Paolo, Brazil. His extensive career is rooted in abstraction, minimalism and neo-concretism. He studied painting at the Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation, in São Paulo in the 1960s. He undertook graduate studies in social sciences and post-graduate studies in political science at the University of São Paulo. In 1970, he was arrested for protesting the military regime and detained for 19 months at the Tiradentes Prison in São Paulo where he attended painting workshops. In 2013, a monograph was published (editions Casa da imagem) on the occasion of his solo survey exhibition at Pinacoteca in Sao Paulo, with essays by Alberto Tassinari, Lorenzo Mammì and Rodrigo Naves. His work has been shown extensively throughout Brazil and is included in major public collections such as the Museu de Arte Moderna, the Pinacoteca do Estado in São Paulo and the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro.