16/04/2013 | Metro News | 15 April 2013 – Gallery shows 25 sculptures by Zé do Chalé

Under the curatorship of Cauê Alves, the Estação Art Gallery, with the support of the Karandash Gallery in Maceió, brings to São Paulo the rare works of sculptor Zé do Chalé (Neópolis – SE, 1902 / Aracaju – SE, 2008). The 25 sculptures carved in wood, or trophies, as the artist himself called them, brought a panorama of the artist’s production, largely comprising miniatures and fronts of churches and chapels, with symbols including crosses, stars, the sun and the moon, birds and hearts, among others. The works can be visited at Rua Ferreira de Araújo, 625, Pinheiros (0xx11 3813-7253), as from tomorrow. They shall be on show Mondays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with admittance free. According to Cauê Alves, the curator of this exhibition, with the modern traditions being ever more present in contemporary art, the border between the erudite and the popular becomes more hazy and less significant. “Zé do Chalé can also be understood as a contemporary artist, in the time sense of the term and also due to his action which breaks all ties with tradition”, he says. A self-learner, Zé do Chalé said that his creations were divine and that God had given him the skill and the responsibility of sculpture. According to the artist, the images came from his own head and also from dreams: “My inspiration comes from the brain[…] I do everything without drawing, it’s all in the mind. My judgement is a gift of God”, said the artist. “His religiousness brought in it a syncretism of traditions and symbols, from Roman Catholicism and also from Native Brazilian creeds, in an incredible mix between the sacred and the profane”, says the curator. Vertical forms and fine points. Another significant feature is the predominantly vertical format of the sculptures, normally culminating in fine, high and sleek points. In a unique manner, he created these sculptures out of empty spaces, a common method among some sculptors. The strength of his work is in the elaborateness and inventiveness of the pieces, such as the chains made out of a tree trunk without alterations. The curator of the exhibition, Cauê Alves, sees in the production of this artist a certain isolation due to historical and life circumstances, and also a strong presence of Catholicism. “There is no direct link with Oriental tradition, or any visible contact with the experimental art of the 1960s”, he says. Also according to the curator, the works of Zé do Chalé brings a harmonisation of the Native Brazilian ancestral heritage and the modernity of city life. A self-learner, José Cândido dos Santos started to do sculpture at the age of 89. He was born in Neópolis, Sergipe, and had roots in the Xocó Native Brazilian tribe, of São Pedro island, in the same state. He always cultivated a strong bond with the community of the São Francisco River, where he visited every year and where he worked as a carpenter when he was young. This nickname is due to his vast work as a building site supervisor. Zé was a self-learner and started to do sculpture at 89, when he retired from the building trade, but was still lucid and in good health. Discovered by chance by photographer Celso Brandão, Zé did sculpture until he died in 2008, at the age of 105, leaving a small but significant production of sculptures.

Galeria Estação