‘Gris Vide, Cris’ exhibition among the best of 2023

‘Rui Chafes and Alberto Giacometti. Gris, Vide, Cris’ has been highlighted as one of the best exhibitions of 2023 by the newspapers Público and Expresso.
22 dec 2023

Rui Chafes and Alberto Giacometti. Gris, Vide, Cris was considered the best exhibition of the year by the weekly Expresso and the second best exhibition by the daily Público. The Portuguese weekly described the exhibition, curated by Helena de Freitas, as ‘the most challenging’ of the year, highlighting the ‘improbable fit’ of the two artists’ sculptures and the ‘exquisite staging,’ which provokes ‘self-consciousness in the observer.’ 

In its ‘Ípsilon’ supplement, Público refers to Gris, Vide Cris as ‘an exceptional exhibition.’ The Portuguese daily describes the two artists’ affinity as something that ‘occurs at such a depth,’ that the ‘vocabulary for talking about sculpture no longer serves and the meaning of concepts such as figure, matter, and form collapses, making the invention of new words an imperative if we are to understand how the world appears in these sculptures.’

The exhibition, organised by the Gulbenkian Modern Art Centre (CAM) and with an exhibition design by José Neves and graphic design by Pedro Falcão, was held between 18 May and 18 September 2023, in the Ground Floor Gallery of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s headquarters building, receiving more than 30,000 visitors.

Gris, Vide, Cris combined works by Alberto Giacometti with various sculptures by Rui Chafes. The two artists, separated by time, space and the form of their sculptures, never actually crossed paths: Rui Chafes was born in 1966, the year Giacometti died, and there are no biographical or historical links that bring them together in such a way as to create a dialogue. As such, this exhibition was conceived as an encounter based on an awareness of the differences between the two artists’ works, as well as their ability to resonate. Both artists seek to achieve a state of incorporeality and transcendence and to represent the invisible, albeit in different ways: Giacometti through a process of exasperated de-materialisation; Rui Chafes by challenging the limits of iron and of imponderability.

A guided tour with artist Rui Chafes and curator Helena de Freitas, and an exhibition catalogue in Portuguese are available.

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