Nogueras Blanchard is delighted to announce Habitual, the second solo exhibition by Juliana Cerqueira Leite (1981, Yolanda) in our Madrid space.

New York-based artist Cerqueira Leite is interested in the parameters of bodies and the space that they create, her tactile sculptures investigate the abilities and constraints of the human body. “Creating new forms is a mission for me,” said Cerqueira Leite, “a way of not reasserting the world as it is, but of positing a transformation”. Using her own body as a primary tool, Cerqueira Leite digs, combs, scratches, and pushes through her materials —which include clay, latex, and plaster— to create organic forms.

For this exhibition, the artist presents a series of drawings and sculptures based on studies of everyday movements, understood as a codified physical language, learned and integrated into culture and which, like many aspects of culture itself, become automatic.

The drawings are part of the series titled Repetitive Movements that Make and Unmake the World, in which the artist draws a line of the same gesture repeated until it exceeds its original meaning. By translating the gesture on paper, Cerqueira Leite shows how the repeated and accumulated action of lifting something, stirring a drink, opening a door, or turning pages, allows her to trace forms on paper that suggest anatomical figures —ribs, bones, organs— as if the anatomy of the human body were somehow imprinted in daily routines and actions.

In Habitual, Cerqueira Leite has drawn upon a specific gesture with which she began this series in 2016, describing different ways of performing the act of washing hands. In these new drawings, we can recognize ourselves: we see the palm receiving the falling water, fingers intertwining and generating friction, a caress on the knuckles, an uncontrolled little finger when shaking the hand to dry it in the air... We are capable of recognizing ourselves, although these gestures, so commonplace, so unconsciously repeated, have become like strangers to us. As well as a study of movement, these works stand for “a way to re-understand, to bring awareness back into and refamiliarize me with something I do so frequently as to deserve being considered a part of who one is”.

Further exploration of the translation of three-dimensional movements to the two-dimensional plane and the curiosity for the information lost in 2D drawings, Juliana Cerqueira Leite adds a new layer to her body of work, generating a new translation that brings drawing back to the sculptural medium. In this new series of sculptures, the relationship of the line with the direction of movement is maintained generating “not a representational figurative sculpture, or an index of motion”. The artist understands these works as models of movement “that transpose the information lost in a quick ephemeral act into a dynamic form that prioritizes specific qualities like direction, scale, the flow of attention and proprioceptive memory, then the realistic rendering of detail or the anatomy of my hands”.

The exhibition includes two sculptures produced on-site in the gallery, that describe two daily actions, lying down and getting up, in whose forms the artist's body is revealed. “Bracketed by the absence of my body —the subject— and the absence of the objects —a chair and a bed— what is left is a trace of the interaction registered in plaster, like a verb”.