born in rio de janeiro_ brazil_ 1952_ lives and works in geneva_ switzerland
Maria-Carmen studied at the School of Fine Arts of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and graduated at École Supérieure d’Art Visuel, where later she came to teach. In the 80’s, she moved to New York, studying at Art Student’s League. However, during a visit to Sergio Camargo’s art studio in Carrara, Italy, she fell in love with the density, resistance and weight of marble. In the 90’s, during a trip to Volterra (in Tuscany, Italy), she came across the transparency, banded appearance and layers of alabaster, which inspired the artist to produce series of art pieces such as “Lunáticas”, “Montanhas” and “Piercings”. Maria-Carmen took part in various solo exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Geneva. In 1996, she was awarded the first prize in an international contest for artist intervention organized by Darier Hentsch & Cie Bank at UNI Dufuor building (University of Geneva), defeating 249 other artists from all over the world.
In 2000, she was again awarded the first prize with the project “As Lanças de Uccello” at the “Lausanne Gardens 2000” contest, in which she utilized an African plant called “snake plant”. In 2006, Paço Imperial, in Rio Janeiro, held her solo exhibition named “O Mundo Maravilhoso dos Objetos Flutuantes”. In 2007, the Swiss publisher InFolio launched a book with texts by Ronaldo de Brito and Michael Jakob, which registered Maria Carmen’s production since the 80’s. Also in 2007, the artist exhibited her work at Espace Topographie de l’art, in Paris, France. In 2008, a solo exhibition featuring her work was organized at Pinacoteca Civica, in Volterra, Italy. In 2009, she took part in a collective exhibition “A Beleza do Erro”, at LX Factory in Lisbon. In 2012 held another exhibition “Luz de Pedra” at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, curated by Cristina Burlamaqui. In 2013 organizes another solo exhibition at Galeria Raquel Arnaud which represents the artist since 1994.
Luz e Pedra [Light and Stone]: the title of the exhibition alone is a statement by Maria-Carmen Perlingeiro implying that the act of sculpting is not only to create a meaningful three-dimensional object, but also to produce a glow from this object, or from its multiplication, that changes the light of the environment. Tearing it away from what we would expect to see. Following the same lines as the earliest known traces of sculpture, but updating and renovating them in the 21st century, Maria-Carmen Perlingeiro’s work recalls three-dimensional prehistoric assemblages such as the bear skull in Chauvet Cave, placed atop boulders that elevate a horizontal plane to form a pedestal that highlights the piece and lends it a religious aura.
The choice of alabasters, sculpted since the Neolithic Age, shows the same concern for continuity with origins, but Maria-Carmen Perlingeiro knows how to illuminate them with gold inclusions, selenite and its transparent crystals. She brings us into a double dialogue with and about space: first with the sculptures themselves, through their beaming shapes, their surprising inclusions, and then with their relations to one another, or their multiplication, arranged by the artist in order to create a renewed field of vision, made to catch our eye. Indeed, this multiplication challenges the established order and shows the unexpected through a luminous disruption, altering the visual field.
She adds, as I have stated previously, something unique, which only belongs to her: the meaning of her gold inclusions or the holes in the marble, leading to further unpredicted dialogues with the light.
With the continuity of her work with alabaster and the surprises arising from her combinations of materials, Maria-Carmen Perlingeiro creates an art of associations, contrasts, and multiplications of shapes in active interplay with light, renewing our sight.