Spiritual in the arts, again Mônica Nador + JAMAC

18/03/2023 - 29/04/2023

Galeria Vermelho and Galeria Leme present two individual, simultaneous and complementary exhibitions by Mônica Nador + JAMAC. Opening on the 18th of March at Leme and the 23rd at Vermelho, these exhibitions will show works from the 1980s until today.

O político na arte, de novo [Politics in the arts, again] and O espiritual na arte, de novo [Spiritual in the arts, again] take place in Vermelho and Leme, respectively. Both exhibitions will occupy the spaces designed by the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha exploring spatially the installation of the works, including the mural paintings, known as Paredes Pinturas [Wall Paintings], developed by Mônica Nador + JAMAC since the early 2000’s.

The exhibitions will bring seminal works of Mônica Nador’s trajectory, such as the large-scale paintings Mamãe Natureza [Pachamama] (1990), Um bom e velho monocromático [A good old monochromatic] (1990) and FRUA [ENJOY] (1991), as well as recent works from the series Pano Parede [Fabric wall], elaborated together with JAMAC. Series of etchings and screen printings will contrast the scale of other works to show distinct strategies to systematically fill the space – trademark of Nador’s works.

About the artist


By the end of the 1980s, Nador produced a series of monochromatic paintings, which lived in confrontation with adornment, escaping the crisis of minimalist artists who thought they were reaching a kind of end or peak in artistic production. Nador’s monochromes did not end a process, but rather freed it.

In the early 1990s, monochrome adornments gave way to the use of Islamic motifs, which stylize natural elements such as flowers and leaves, positioning them between figuration and abstraction. These motifs began to be used by Nador in works that are close to all-over paintings, in which the treatment given to the canvas is relatively uniform in color or pattern. Nador’s production evidences a manual and rigorous repetition that brings her paintings closer to patterns of industrially printed fabrics.

At the 21st São Paulo Biennial (1991), Nador exhibited a set of large paintings made with repetitious manual patterns overlaid with verbs in the imperative. Nador´s choice of words, however, are invitations to physical and mental well-being. The confusion between order and enjoyment of the imperatives FRUA [ENJOY], VOE [FLY],
and ENTRE [COME IN] operates on the same border as in Nador’s paintings, which use strategies from North-American abstract expressionism – based on the emotional intensity of German expressionism and the antifigurative movement of the European abstract school- and the twists and juxtapositions of conceptualism in the 1960s. Even so, this production, even if it was critical of the masculine form and system of art, reaffirmed the two-dimensional space of the canvas.

In 1996, Mônica Nador is invited by curator Tadeu Chiarelli to participate in the Wall Project of MAM-SP (Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo). Nador created in this space the mural Parede para Nelson Leirner [Wall for Nelson Leiner], a work which propelled her to occupy urban spaces with her research, establishing the project Paredes PinturasParedes Pinturas were made on homes and shops in the outskirts of the city of São Paulo. From this approximation with a marginalized community, Monica Nador began her process of developing a collective project at the Jardim Miriam, in the Southern part of the city.

The Jardim Miriam Arte Clube (Jardim Miriam Art Club) – JAMAC starts with the organization of workshops to teach stenciling techniques to the community, as a way to give tools to its inhabitants, which can, from this experience, apply this technique in commercial works, contributing to the autonomy of its citizens. Mônica Nador + JAMAC started to participate in several important shows around the world, such as the 27th São Paulo Biennial (2006), the Lubumbashi Biennial in Congo (2015), the Museum of Antioquia in Medellín (2016), the 21st Videobrasil Sesc Biennial (2019), and the 1dt OsloBiennalen (2020).

In each participation in exhibitions, Mônica Nador + JAMAC organize workshops with local groups to create symbolic drawings for each group and context. These drawings are, then, reproduced in stencils and applied as patterns in paintings showed in the exhibitions. These stencils then become part of the visual vocabulary of JAMAC, which rearticulates its images, creating new patterns and paintings with each rendition.

The production of JAMAC’s paintings, based on stencils, affirms the collectivity and authorship of its processes.

The critic and curator Thais Rivitti wrote in the catalogue of the 2010 exhibition Mônica Nador and JAMAC, at the Pinacoteca Station: “The permanence of Paredes Pinturas at JAMAC allowed the mural painting technique to be widely disseminated throughout the community: countless young people and adults passed through Nador’s workshops. Today, many of them are able to organize workshops themselves to train other interested parties. JAMAC is now a place open to discussions and practices that go beyond Paredes Pinturas”. Nador took not only an experience to the Jardim Miriam, but generator a transformation in their reality.