“Open Gates” at Rooster Gallery

“Open Gates” at Rooster Gallery

Sara Bichão (born 1986) has been living and working in Lisbon, but recently moved to New York and is represented by Rooster Gallery.

“Open Gates” unveils her latest paintings and drawings. The exhibition reflects two distinct creative moments divided between both floors of the gallery. Upstairs, Bichão presents five paintings on an unusual support material – blocks of Styrofoam, coated with fiberglass, which in turn are coated with concrete. Seemingly heavy, due to their rough and industrial appearance, these works are in fact extremely light and delicate.
The acrylic paint that covers their surface is decorated with a layer of drawings made out of graphite and crayon, increasing the sense of the works’ perishable nature. Their shape and volume lend these paintings an installational quality: three circles and two lozenges arranged in space, fully operating as a unit. The feeling of nostalgia prompted by their mild colors and desert aesthetic will lead the viewer to an isolated place of mysterious impermanence.

The drawings being shown downstairs constitute another moment of the artist’s creative state, intimately connected with the works described above. They are loosely drawn on single sheets of paper, without geometric restrictions or apparent guiding symmetry, but with the same arcane sym- bols bearing the ancestral charge of a universal idiom. Here Sara distances herself from the pres- sures of the support material. Paper provides a pictorial space freed from compositional restraints; thus the outcome is both unconsciously intimate and purposely universal.

“Open Gates” is not just an exhibition; it is also a far more complex artistic project on which Sara has focused her interest for the last couple of years. “Open Gates” is, in fact, a network of the art- ist’s concerns. Three concepts should be retained: creativity, universality and idiosyncrasy. From these, one other arises – contemporaneity – therefore enabling a full cycle, both aesthetic and mental.

Sara Bichão holds a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon (2011). She is cur- rently doing a residency at Residency Unlimited in New York (February through June). She won the BPI/FBAUL Prize 2008 for painting, was selected for Anteciparte’09 and for the Fidelidade Mundial – Young Painters Prize 2009. In 2011, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation awarded her a fellowship. For more information visit