Xilempasto 6 (Primary Title)
The work came from the idea of painting as a flat surface. . . . The wood reminded me of brushstrokes, and I began exploring the properties of this material. —Henrique Oliveira
Oliveira is known for large site-specific works that dissolve boundaries between art and architecture. This is his first piece to enter a U.S. museum collection and VMFA’s first work of Brazilian contemporary art.
Using salvaged plywood delaminated into strips, Oliveira built this work scrap by scrap, then stained and painted the rough surface. The title is a made-up word referring to thick paint (impasto). The work translates the language of abstract painting into three-dimensions: the surface pattern suggests thick strokes of paint while the bulging volumes and deep voids evoke at once the interior of a body, pieces of driftwood, and a flock of birds.
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