Christopher Grimes Gallery is pleased to present a new body of work entitled Elective Affinities by Tunga from May 22 – July 3. There will be an opening reception and performance by the artist Saturday, May 22 from 6 – 8 pm. This will be his first performance in Los Angeles since 1999 and will include actors and a musician in the context of a major new sculptural work. A new film by Tunga will be screened that will show simultaneously at the Cannes Film Festival. The gallery is located at 916 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.
Elective Affinities is a considerable shift from his 2001 exhibit, La Belle et la bête, building upon the intricate glossary of forms historically used to define his work. Tunga now puts forth the human tooth as the most noticeable addition to his work. Its presence supports an allegorical dialog and manipulates the volatile space between seduction and danger – inherent polar opposites. More directly, the teeth could reference the act of cannibalism, an activity through which the consumption of another empowers the individual and, therefore, results in an elevated plane of awareness and spirituality.
Tunga produces performance-based artwork in all media that investigates the subtle transaction among issues such as ritual, alchemy, sexuality, science and mythology. His frequent materials of choice – iron, magnets, fabric, copper and gel, hark to the open-ended experimentation informed by the Arte Povera movement. However, his performances and many of the objects he produces reference shamanic ritual and a possible relationship to the work of early conceptualists like Joseph Beuys. While the performative manifests it self in the objects he creates they are allowed to stand independent of their historical foundations.
Tunga is the youngest of a group of Brazilian conceptual artists that emerged in the 70’s following the pioneering efforts of Neo-Concrete sculptor and performance artist Hélio Oiticica. Originally trained as an architect, Tunga left the field of architecture to pursue the visual arts in 1974. The artist is regarded as one of the most important contemporary Brazilian artists working today. He has exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, Venice, Italy and New York; Istanbul Biennal, Istanbul, Turkey; Gwangju Biennal, Gwangju, Korea; Documenta X, Kassel, Germany; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL and the Reina Sophia, Madrid, Spain. He is the recipient of numerous awards and was nominated for the Hugo Boss Prize by the Guggenheim Museum in 2000. This will be Tunga's third solo show at Christopher Grimes Gallery.