Lehmann Maupin presents In the Corner of the Mind, an exhibition of new paintings by Brazilian artistic duo OSGEMEOS (b. São Paulo, Brazil, 1974; live and work in São Paulo, Brazil). In the Corner of the Mind marks the artists’ fifth solo presentation with the gallery. The London show precedes a highly anticipated solo exhibition of the artists’ work opening this fall at Centro de arte contemporáneo de Málaga (CAC Málaga) in Spain.
As OSGEMEOS, twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo are perhaps best known as pioneers of Brazilian public art, with their work often featuring long-limbed yellow characters, vibrant colors, and elaborate patterns. Across their practice, OSGEMEOS have brought their distinctive style to a range of substrates—from building facades to discarded doors, from wood panels to canvas. The duo draws inspiration from a variety of art forms, including graffiti, animation, film, dance, and music, to create complex, highly imaginative works that fuse distinct cultural references and modes of artistic representation. While the artists find inspiration in numerous sources, their distinct visual language is always charged with personal significance, incorporating their family, travels, and their fantasy universe, which they have named “Tritez.” OSGEMEOS’ signature thinly outlined, yellow-hued figures, for example, recall the yellow-tinged light that permeated the artists’ childhood home, while their vast array of signs and symbols are often drawn from their own dreams, which, as twins, they frequently share.
Throughout this new body of work the artists give space and form to their vivid inner worlds, and the works collapse distinctions between body, architecture, sacred geometry, and landscape to create a universe where the self fantastically converges with the wider world. In No canto do pensamento / In the corner of the mind (all works 2022), a head-shaped structure emerges from the landscape to offer shelter to a woman, while in Vagalume / Firefly, the lone figure’s dress doubles as a building, its folds revealing towers and doors. Defying conventions of perspectival space, OSGEMEOS’ works complicate notions of figure and ground; in O canto do pássaro / The bird’s song the central figure’s hat depicts a fantastical landscape, as if another universe is springing forth from the subject’s head. The work’s striped, brightly-colored background recalls the geometric compositions of Frank Stella or the vibrant surfaces of Op art. Across OSGEMEOS’ patterned surface, the central figure’s limbs cast long shadows, and the artists’ geometric worlds reveal traces of their inhabitants at every turn.
Reflecting the duo’s expertise in a variety of painting techniques and artistic languages, the works in In the Corner of the Mind blend muralism, graffiti, and traditional painting practices to thwart distinctions between interiority and exteriority, figure and ground, and self and world. Representing their dreamlike universe, OSGEMEOS consider space an expansive term that simultaneously encompasses both the public sphere and inner fantasy.
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