Ana Prata

Born 1980 in Sete Lagoas, MG, Brazil. In 2000, she moved to Sao Paulo, where she currently lives and works, to study at Brazil’s most prestigious university, the University of Sao Paulo (USP), where she received a BFA degree.

Since her first exhibition in 2008, the artist has been researching the pictorial language, many times challenging its conventions. Until 2013, Prata used pre-existing images mostly obtained from the internet as the starting point of her creative process. Through fresh brushstrokes, changes in the color palette and general exploration of the pictorial possibilities, the original photographs would be transformed into mysterious and strange narratives, despite the banality of the theme – like a car on the woods or several bottles of wine on a table.

In the solo exhibition “The Sun and the Difference” in 2014 at Galeria Millan (São Paulo, Brazil), her work shifted to the pure approach of painting’s possibilities and limits, deeply informed by art history. Giving up the use of pre-existing photographs as the basis for her works, Ana Prata could focus on painting in itself, and on reaching beyond what is traditionally perceived as painting – i.e., something that is 2-dimensional – by working with less traditional supports and understanding her artworks as objects, adding the 3-dimensional space as a key element of the process.

The artist’s broad range of interests and freedom of research gave her the ability to constantly surprise even the deepest connoisseur of her production. Managing the vocabulary of modern art without being constricted by it, Ana Prata explores references to avant-garde movements such as Informalism, Neo-primitivism and Concretism, which she actualizes and transforms into elements of her own large lexicon. This can be said, for instance, of “Boat ride on the canal (Paul Klee)”, a horizontal painting two meters high and three meters long (78 x 118 in), where she translates one of Paul Klee’s main themes to her language, rendering an homage to her idol while simultaneously subverting his aesthetics.

Her demeanor toward painting seems to suggest an alternative both to the painter as an editor of styles, a sterile manipulator, as well as to its counterpart, the recovery of the anti-historical and affected image of the painter-hero. (…) Prata seems to probe the modernist repertoire in the way that an archeologist faces an encrypted message. Maybe the encounter will only bring the fresh air of a liberating formal invention. But the artist is still quite young, and has only just begun to find these fragments that come to light: ill-mannered, broke, encrypted, like corrupted files, shining the light of long-dead stars. Where someone once dreamed of a flat grid, we might come across a labyrinth.

By Pedro França, Flash Art, no. 300. Volume 48 – 2015. January – February

In 2016, for the first time the artist has worked with collage, adding another layer of formal experimentation to her research. This series of works was introduced to the art scene by BROADWAY 1602 UPTOWN & HARLEM, in the exhibition “Around the Edge.”


Recent solo exhibitions:

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, UK (2016); Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, Brazil (2015); La Maudite, Paris, France (2015); Kubikgallery (kubikulo), Porto, Portugal (2015); Galeria Millan, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2014); Instituto Tomie Othake, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012); Galeria Marília Razuk, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010); Centro Universitário Maria Antônia, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2009); Centro Cultural São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2009).


Recent group exhibitions include:

Cuchifritos, New York, USA (2016); Broadway 1602, New York, USA (2016); Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, UK (2016); Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil (2015); Galeria Estação, São Paulo, Brazil (2014); 18º Festival Videobrasil, SESC Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil (2013); Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013); Galeria Athena Comtemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2012); 17º Festival Videobrasil, SESC Belenzinho, São Paulo, Brazil (2011); Instituto Tomie Othake, São Paulo, Brazil (2011); Galeria Silvia Cintra, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2009).