“The Volcano in My Chest Exploded”: Francisco de Almeida’s Exhibition at the Brazilian Embassy in Berlin

A Fusion of Traditional and Contemporary Art: Francisco de Almeida’s Exhibition Bridges Cultures in Berlin

May 15th, 2024
Snejana Melnic, News from Berlin
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The Brazilian Embassy in Berlin hosts “The Volcano in My Chest Exploded,” an engaging solo exhibition by the Brazilian artist Francisco de Almeida. This exhibition, which marks Almeida’s debut solo show in São Paulo and his first outside Brazil, runs from May 6 to July 5, 2024. It features a unique collection of seven new works meticulously crafted for the Embassy’s distinct architectural setting.

Conceived for the Tula Pilar Ferreira Space at the Mário de Andrade Library and extended to the Brazilian Embassy in Berlin, the exhibition showcases Almeida’s works as a suspended installation. This setup engages in a visual dialogue with the Embassy’s environment, incorporating sacred and profane elements with a backdrop of windows and a garden, providing a pictorial complement to the displayed art pieces.

On May 2, 2024, the opening vernissage welcomed notable attendees, including Francisco de Almeida and fellow artist Markus Lörwald, along with art enthusiasts and critics. Doors opened at 6:15 p.m., and free entry was available to those who registered.

Francisco de Almeida is celebrated for his narrative style that transcends the traditional format of cordel literature, transforming it into artworks that spotlight elements of popular culture within a contemporary art context. His primary technique, wood engraving, dates back to antiquity and was particularly prominent in medieval and Renaissance Asia and Europe. This method remains integral to his expressive art.

The exhibition also features related works by acclaimed artists Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Markus Lörwald, Kiki Smith, and Hirosuke Yabe, who, like Almeida, explore the expressive possibilities of wood engraving. This collaborative display underscores the diversity and richness of wood as an artistic medium.

Guided tours are scheduled throughout the exhibition, including sessions led by prominent figures such as Francisco de Almeida, Markus Lörwald, curator Tereza de Arruda, and Mike Karstens, an esteemed engraver, editor, and gallerist. These tours offer deeper insights into the works’ creative processes and thematic elements. 

The exhibition, curated by Tereza de Arruda and supported by the Embassy of Brazil in Berlin, continues to attract attention from local and international art communities. It celebrates Brazil’s vibrant cultural heritage and its dynamic presence in the global art landscape.



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