RX&SLAG, Paris

João Trevisan

Strangers at dawn


RX&SLAG, Paris is delighted to present João Trevisan in his very first European exhibition “Strangers at dawn” opening to the public on Saturday 4 May and running to Saturday TK June. This exhibit was organized by Simon Watson.


João Trevisan is a Brazilian artist. Painted during a Lisbon, Portugal artist residency, Strangers at dawn  consists of two bodies of oil and encaustic paintings: mountainous landscapes and minimalist abstractions. Darkly brooding, yet ethereally glowing, the two bodies of work are mediations on very different geographic terrain: the flat plateau of Brazil’s capital Brasília where he was born and lives, and the mountainous territory of Minas Gerais where his grandparents lived and he would visit as a child.

Trevisan's landscape paintings Paisagem are meditations on the mountainscapes of the neighboring Minas Gerais, a large inland state in southeastern Brazil, known for colonial-era towns dating to the country’s 18th-century gold rush. These intimate paintings with bodily undertones, suggest the setting of the sun at dusk or a brooding dawn with light peaking through craggy mountain slopes. Speaking of the light in his Paisagem paintings, Trevisan says they suggest “the sunset or the dusk of a sky that seeks to touch the slopes like a last or first touch, contouring the mountains, appealing to the most attentive eyes.”


Trevisan's minimalist abstract paintings— Intervalos— are based on years of meditative walks along the railroad tracks near his home in Brasília. With dark black backgrounds and vertical lines of different thicknesses and a range of deep, dark color they suggest nocturnes. And almost like a musical sheet where the reading takes place within the empty space, Trevisan’s geometric paintings are structured with intervals.  For the artist, “they are like a body of introspection, geared towards a metaphysics, as suggested by their luminosity, open to the external… A silent meditative gaze, like the walks I enjoy taking along the railway.”

The two João Trevisan painting series Paisagem and Intervalos are made in a painstaking process of applying and burnishing layer upon later of oil and encaustic, resulting in a sensual surface in which natural light seems to be captured and refracted. Numerous references to contemporary as well as historical painting come to mind, but their sensual and brooding presence is so very contemporary.


About the artist

Born in 1986 in Brasília, João Trevisan holds a bachelor’s degree in Law. He has been exhibiting steadily since 2014. His first solo museum show, “João Trevisan: Corpo e Alma” was held at São Paulo’s Museum of Sacred Art (2021) and most recently he had a solo exhibition at Galeria Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo (2023). Other solo gallery exhibitions have included Central Galeria, São Paulo (2020); Karla Osório, Brasilia (2019); and Foro. Space, Bogotá (2019). Thematic group exhibitions have included Terra at Central Galeria, São Paulo (2020); O Sertão at the National Museum, Brasilia (2020/2021) and Slag Gallery, New York (2021). Trevisan's works are in numerous public collections including Casa da Cultura da América Latina, Brasília; MAR-Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro; MUN-Museu Nacional da República, Brasília; and MARP-Museu de Arte de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto. — Upcoming: December 2024 a 300-page João Trevisan monograph will be published.


About the curator of the exhibition

Born in Canada and raised in England and the United States, Simon Watson is an independent curator and art advisor based in New York and São Paulo. A veteran of the cultural scene on three continents, Watson has, over the past four decades, curated and organized more than 350 art exhibitions for galleries and museums. His area of curatorial expertise is in spotting visual artists with outstanding potential, many of whom are now seen internationally in the blue chip category and represented by some of the world’s most established galleries.