João Modé: GEOM POEM

Galerie Peter Kilchmann

Zahnradstrasse, Zurich


Galerie Peter Kilchmann Zürich is pleased to present the solo exhibition GEOM POEM  by Brazilian artist João Modé in our gallery at Zahnradstrasse/Maag in Zürich.


Modé was born in Resende, Brazil in 1961. He lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Modé’s artistic practice is characterized by the versatility with which he handles visual language. His video works, photographs, fabrics and large-scale installations have an essential symbiotic relationship with their spatial and temporal surroundings and use a wide spectrum of diverse media.

His site-specific installations and interventions subtly interact with the architectonic space around them and unfold through the combination of everyday-objects and manifest through the interaction with their specific local surrounding.
GEOM POEM continues the research into geometric abstractionism Joao Modé has been conducting for the past ten years. In 2013 the artist started to sew together fabric and embroidered them. These Paninhos mark the beginning of this ongoing body of work. The Panhinos and the featured new works in the project space are a tribute to the Geometric Abstract Art tradition that coined the term Brazilian Modernism in the 1950s and Sixties. Since 2018 Modé includes beads in his works that are traditionally used to make guias – necklaces common in African and South-American indigenous cultures. Their Layout is based on strict geometric patterns that are shared amongst tribal cultures through jewelry and body painting designs. Modé recently collaborated with a Xavante Indian to learn their traditional beading technique and applied his thereby acquired insights in a new series of works.
In addition, while spending more time in Switzerland in the course of his artists residency with Atelier Mondial, Modé encountered the work of Swiss artist Emma Kunz. Kunz’ credo was that geometric shapes and repetitive fabrication processes have a healing quality. This overlaps with Modé’s artistic process of including repetition and temporality as intrinsic matter in his works. Time inevitably manifests into transformations when combined with his creative input. In fact, his time-consuming, repetitive process of creation is a fundamental part of his work.
However, in GEOM POEM Modé’s patterns are more natural and spontaneous, almost based on chance. They are seldom planned in sketches and rather arise per chance while the artist crafts his installations with meticulous care. The new installations are site-specific and more spatial. Applying beaded strings, Modé created a site-specific installation that hangs from the ceiling in the middle of the showroom. It invites the viewer to glance it from several different perspectives. The thin strings and fine beads refer to the fragility of the world in both spiritual and material matters.
Also included in the show is Tacos. A field of lozenged-shaped tiles with which the artist, as a classic reference to Modernism, creates a ‘space within the space’. The work with its strict pattern symbolizes rationality amidst the more free-floating, imperfect beaded strings and Infinite Column.
GEOM POEM is the latest iteration of João Modé poetry of the combination of everyday objects from our surroundings, that he reassembles into a new construct. The works poses sensuous and emotional challenges that awaken a sentiment for the poetry of forgotten or ignored artifacts of our everyday life.
Walk-through with João Modé and curator Raphael Gygax
Sunday, June 11th, 2 - 3 pm
Opening hours Zurich Art Weekend
Friday,  June 9th, 11 am -  8 pm
Saturday, June 10th, 11 am - 8 pm
Sunday, June 11th, 11 am - 6 pm
Installation Views