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On Our Radar: Anthropomorphic fruits from samba land

In the ongoing series “On our Radar,” Weingarten Art Group spotlights emerging talent whom we’re watching closely. Find more artists “On Our Radar” here.

Who: Brazilian painter and sculptor Erika Verzutti, a São Paulo native whose work has been featured in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery in New York, and the Galerie Peter Kilchmann in Zurich.

What she’s known for: An aesthetic that teeters on the liminal space that exists at the confluence of realism and fantasy, an approach that results in anthropomorphic art that’s fun at which to look. How else would you describe an artist who finds inspiration in bananas, pomegranates and other tropical fruits?

As Aoife Rosenmeyer wrote in an article in Frieze Magazine, “Verzutti is happy to push her sculpture to both humorous and dis­concerting effects.”

What’s being said about her: In an art review of Animal Mineral Vegetable at the Andrew Kreps Gallery in Manhattan, critic Robert Smith describes:

Erika Verzutti, who made a wan impression in the last Carnegie International, shines here with two bronze wall reliefs that use actual natural forms (ostrich eggs) or suggest them (a melonlike ovoid that may also be a painting). For the delightful “Lapis,” Ms. Verzutti assembles bronze casts of jackfruit dabbed with blue paint into a Brancusi-like column.

From: “Animal Mineral Vegetable” by Roberta Smith, New York Times, December 11, 2014.

Rosenmeyer says about Verzutti’s Zurich show:

Verzutti’s modesty of scale, colour and medium allows her to quote without inves­ting too heavily in what she cites. . . . The Brazilian artist seemed aware of the expectation that, for an international audience, she would reference her famous predecessors, yet she is not beholden to them.

From: “Erika Verzutti” by Aoife Rosenmeyer, Frieze Magazine, September-November 2014.

Image: Erika Verzutti, Installation at 2013 Carnegie International, cast bronze and concrete with acrylic, 2013. Photo courtesy of Starr Review.