Iran do Espírito Santo

My process of making sculptures involves a return to the design project, that is, a re-idealization of certain objects, which are mostly anonymous. It’s an essentially different operation from using a found object, a readymade, or making a cast of an object. My sculpture is not indexical. Instead of reproducing an actual object, it alludes to its technical drawing, to the conception of its shape and dimensions.


Iran do Espírito Santo was born in Mococa, Brazil in 1963. Often working on an ambitious scale, he wryly subverts the Minimalist tradition through his abstracted sculptures of familiar everyday objects made strange by their disorientating size and incongruous materials, such as granite, glass, steel, copper or stone. These sculptural works strip away all extraneous detail, emphasizing the essential line and form of the object. This rigorous simplicity carries through to his demanding wall drawings in paint and sgraffito that transform the entire gallery through subtle gradations of tone and hypnotic repetition of pattern but require many weeks to complete. It was a combination of these two aspects of his practice which comprised the artist’s first UK solo exhibition, at Ingleby Gallery during Edinburgh Art Festival 2010.

In the past two decades, Iran do Espírito Santo has received much international acclaim and his works have been exhibited widely in museums and galleries worldwide, and are included in the collections of many prominent museums such as: the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, MAXXI, Rome, IMMA, Dublin and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. He has also made substantial contributions to the Venice Biennale (1999 and 2007), the Bienal de São Paulo (1987), and the Istanbul Biennal (2000). Recent exhibitions have included Reflexivos at Oi Futuro, Brazil (2019) and Chosen Memories – Contemporary Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift and Beyond, MoMA, USA (2023).


Iran do Espírito Santo, b. 1963
Luz negra IX, 2021
watercolour on paper
77.5 x 56 cm - - 30 1/2 x 22 in
Iran do Espírito Santo, b. 1963
Hinge I, 2024
Watercolour on paper
77 x 57.5 cm - - 30 1/4 x 22 5/8 in



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