Luisa Lambri | 11 Feb – 11 Mar 2009

'Untitled (Casa de Baile #03) ', 2003, laserchrome print, 73.9 x 85 cm image courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery

'Casa das Canoas #02', 2003
, laserchrome print, 99 x 115 cm image courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery

In celebration of Oscar Niemeyer, the Embassy of Brazil in association with Thomas Dane Gallery, is pleased to announce an exhibition of Italian artist Luisa Lambri. The show will bring together a previously unseen selection of Lambri's photographs taken in Brazil. Far from documenting it, Lambri proposes a more personal recording of architecture, using photography to redefine the ways we physically and mentally experience space.

In early 2003 Lambri spent two months photographing various buildings by Niemeyer in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Brasília. She went upon the invitation of Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa, on behalf of the Coleção Teixeira de Freitas, Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon.

Having been drawn to the geometry and formal details of modernist interiors, the artist recalls being compelled by Niemeyer’s uniquely sensual approach to his materials. She was interested in the way Niemeyer was able to open up and distort the orthogonal modernist grid structure by introducing feminine, curved lines. Through her photographs, Lambri wanted to articulate the dialogue that Niemeyer sets up between architecture and nature.

Included in the exhibition are photographs of 'Casa das Canoas', Niemeyer’s own home built in Rio de Janeiro in 1953, known locally as 'the architect's house'. Lambri returned to the house many times to photograph it. The resulting understanding of the building is revealed in her paired images of the covered patio and the way in which the dense tropical garden encroaches into the space.

During her trip Lambri also photographed 'Casa do Baile', a dance hall in Belo Horizonte built by Niemeyer in 1942. Her three photographs of the outdoor terrace of 'Casa do Baile' look out across the water - the straight, centred horizon line in the distance, punctuated by cylindrical columns, dramatizes the heady optical effect created by the undulating concrete structure that skirts the water. Often working in series and recording minute changes, or editing the framing of each image slightly, Lambri requires the viewer to look closely and carefully to see subtle differences. Similarly in this group, the movement of the clouds, the shifting shadow on the ground and the faint billow of smoke in the distance track the passing of time.

Born in Como in 1969, Lambri studied Literature and Philosophy at the University of Milan. She currently lives in Milan. Her work has been exhibited in dAPERTutto, 48th Venice Biennial, 1999, Dreams and Conflicts: The Viewer's Dictatorship, 50th Venice Biennial, 2003, Made Up: the Liverpool Biennial, 2008, and Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968-2008, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2008. Solo exhibitions include the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Carnegie Museum of Arts, The Menil Collection in Houston and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. A solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is scheduled for September 2009. Currently, Lambri has a solo show at Luhring Augustine, New York.

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