Solange Pessoa Longilonge was the first solo museum exhibition in the United States of noted Brazilian artist Solange Pessoa. The show included new commissioned works that responded to the cultural and natural landscape in West Texas, alongside important existing pieces made in Minas Gerais, Brazil, where the artist lives and works.
Pessoa’s expressive work draws inspiration from many sources: nature, the Baroque, dreams and the unconscious, Tropicalia, prehistoric cave paintings and carved tools, Land Art, traditional craft, ancestry, Surrealism, and poetry. Five distinct bodies of work converged for the exhibition—displaying touch-points in the artist’s career and creating a connective tissue of imagery, ideas, and relationships between two distant places in North and South America.
For Longilonge, Pessoa recreated a seminal installation originally staged in Brazil in 1994––an immersive sculpture composed of tiers of coffee bags suspended from the ceiling that were filled with fruit, flowers, seeds, bones, earth, and poems. Visitors were invited to rifle through the abundant materials, spilling, adding and co-creating the sculpture, sensing firsthand the living land of Minas and Marfa—the colors, textures, decay and richness.
Pessoa also debuted a new suite of paintings inspired by research trips to Marfa, where she met local botanists and archeologists, and saw Donald Judd’s works in person for the first time. She created new ceramic pieces and installed her iconic soapstone carvings in Ballroom’s outdoor courtyard, where they absorbed the sun, rain and snow. The clay and stone, sourced in Brazil, she shaped to recall varied organic forms: vaginal voids, nipples, phalli, skulls, spirals, ancient fossils. Bronze and feather wall sculptures adorned the hall, invoking the animal body–its death, life and decoration.
Pessoa’s practice is deeply rooted in land, human and natural history. In this focused exhibition she gathered together materials and iconography from distant but similar environments, creating a conversation between shared forms and interwoven cosmogonies.
This exhibition was organized by Ballroom Marfa Director & Curator Laura Copelin.
Solange Pessoa (Ferros, 1961) lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Her selected solo exhibitions include Solange Pessoa, Mendes Wood DM, New York (2018); Solange Pessoa, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2017); Solange Pessoa, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2016); Metaflor-Metaflora, Museu Mineiro, Belo Horizonte (2013); Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte (2008); Museu da Inconfidência, Ouro Preto (2000); Palácio das Artes, Belo Horizonte (1995); and Centro Cultural São Paulo, (1992).
Pessoa received a grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation (1996/1997) and has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Brazil and abroad including Invenção de Origem, Estação Pinacoteca, São Paulo (2018); La Fin de Babylone – Mich Wunder, dass ich so Fröhlich bin, Koln Skulptur #9, Cologne (2017); New Shamans (2016), High Anxiety (2016), and No Man’s Land: Women Artists (2015), Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA; Arte e Patrimônio,Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (2014); Mostra do Redescobrimento, CAPS Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France (2001); and Heranças Contemporâneas (1999), Encontros e Tendências (1993), Museu de Arte Contemporânea de São Paulo.
Longilonge is made possible by the generous support of Blum & Poe; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; City of Marfa; Fairfax Dorn & Marc Glimcher; Katherine Farley & Jerry Speyer; Kristina & Jeff Fort; Elan Gentry & Alexander S.C. Rower; Virginia Lebermann & Family; Lebermann Foundation; Melony & Adam Lewis; O. Anthony Maddalena & Anne Booth Dayton; Mendes Wood DM; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; Jacques Louis Vidal Charitable Fund; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; the Ballroom Marfa International Surf Club; and Ballroom Marfa members.
In-kind support provided by Bella Oaks, The Capri, International Woman’s Foundation, Marble Brewery, Mikelle & Matt Kruger, Kevin Flynn & Kathy McDaniel, Christy Miller, Tequila Casa Dragones, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and 1851 Vineyards.
Special thanks to Magê Abàtayguara, Alex Bacon, Lalo Baeza, Taciana Birman, Abby Boyd, Nancy Brown, Buró—Buró, Tim & Maria Blum, Caio Carpinelli, Patrick Chavira, Vicente Celis, Jeanann Dara, Felipe Dmab, Michael Davis, Rowdy Dugan, Jonah Emerson-Bell, Matheus Ferreira, Bobby Flores, Maria Cuca Flores, Isadora Dubeux Ganem, Sarah Guarino, Zane Hayspell, Victor Hugo, Douglas Humble, Saqib Keval & Norma Listman, Pablo Lobato, Alex Marks, Marfa Recording Co., Jeff Matheis, Pedro Mendes, O Argilao, Rodrigo Pessoa, Tanya Petruney, Ana Pigosso, Jeff Poe, Michael & Shirley Powell, Francisco Rosas, Cristiano Renno, Ben Russell, Isabel Sierra, Allie Silver, Gory Smelley, Tyler Spurgin, UJI, UNA Art Logistics, Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen, Cristiana Yamamoto, Mac White, Matthew Wood, ZZK Records. And to our friends at Austin Art Services, The Big Bend Sentinel, The Chinati Foundation, Judd Foundation, Lannan Foundation, Lost Horse Saloon, Marfa Public Radio, and Moonlight Gemstones.