Christopher Grimes Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Julião Sarmento, perhaps Portugal's most acclaimed contemporary artist, entitled Film Noir.
In the main space he will present nine medium and large size paintings that draw their subject matter from 1940s and 1950s Hollywood leading ladies such as Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Kim Novak. In the south gallery, Sarmento will present nine drawings using the same subject matter as the paintings. Following a technique of the “white paintings”, that has become one of his familiar styles in the 1990s, Sarmento is combining photographs, drawings, and collage on the surface of a prepared canvas. In these he has silk-screened the opening sentences the stars have uttered in classics of the film noir genre. He leaves a good part of the space empty so as to allow the spectator to fill the gaps and imagine the connections that exist between the text, the image, the drawings and whatever else might come to populate the image. With this exhibition, Sarmento maintains his characteristically sparse compositions and explores even further the concepts of desire and voyeurism, amongst the many themes that have informed his work since the 1970s. Only this time the show is approached as a commentary on the way Hollywood films inflate the desirability of women. As he stated in an interview with Louise Neri in discussing his work, he is interested in “seduction, or the possibility of maintaining desire.”
Julião Sarmento lives and works in Estoril, Portugal. Born in 1948, he has exhibited extensively since his first show in 1969. Defying categorization he has used film, painting, sculpture, drawing and installations as tools for the investigation of the subjects that intrigue him.
Sarmento’s work has been shown in numerous group shows around the world including the 7th and 8th Documenta in 1982 and 1987, the 1980 and 2001 Venice Biennial, and represented Portugal in Venice in 1997. His work is included in public and private collections worldwide, including The Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, New York; MoMA, New York; the Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
Recent major exhibitions have included: Drift, A Project by John Baldessari, Julião Sarmento and Lawrence Weiner, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal, and the Miami Design District, Miami Beach, Florida; Ghosts, CAV – Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra, Portugal; Echo, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium and MEIAC Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz, Spain; Sarmento’s forthcoming solo exhibitions include the Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal and the Fundacion Marcelino Botin at Santander, Spain.