Lucas Arruda: Deserto-Modelo

David Zwirner Books

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Lucas Arruda and Will Chancellor
David Zwirner Books
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The first comprehensive monograph on the work of Brazilian painter Lucas Arruda elucidates the artist’s intricate, meditative compositions.

Arruda has gained critical acclaim for atmospheric paintings that fluctuate between abstraction and figuration, imagination and reality. This monograph presents three groups of works loosely characterized as seascapes, jungles, and monochromes. Collectively titled Deserto-Modelo, they have an ephemeral, transient quality.

Arruda’s intimately sized paintings of seascapes and junglescapes are characterized by their subtle rendition of light. Painted from memory, they are devoid of specific reference points, instead achieving their variety through the depiction of atmospheric conditions. Verging on abstraction, the compositions are grounded by an ever-present, if sometimes faint, horizon line that offers a perception of distance. They appear at once familiar and imaginary. Through his often evocative and textured brushstrokes, Arruda foregrounds the materiality and physicality of paint, while also recalling his genres’ historical associations with the notion of the romantic sublime.

Alongside meticulous color plates and powerful details, author Will Chancellor offers a close reading of the work, raising questions about artifice, thresholds, and perception. Critic Barry Schwabsky unpacks the challenges posed by Arruda’s mysterious painted surfaces. As a whole, this book provides a detailed introduction to the work of a uniquely thoughtful and inventive artist.