Sculptor - Painter
Sprawling roots stretching through exhibition halls, swollen buildings and furniture spilling their wooden tumours... The works of Henrique Oliveira flourish, bearing life and intriguing at the same time.
Since his beginnings as an artist, his paintings have been characterised by an abundance of colourful elements that coexist and collide like cells inside a human body. Then, there are these unforgettable sculptures and installations, all recognisable by the artist's use of irregularly-shaped pieces of painted aged wood. These come from « tapumes » – cheap wooden plates used in Brazil to hide construction sites from passers-by – an inexpensive material which can be found everywhere in the streets of São Paulo. They are used in most of the Brazilian artist’s creations. Regulars visitors of the Palais de Tokyo will undoubtedly have Baitogogo in mind. In 2013, this creation reintroduced knotty natural outlines within this calibrated space in a spectacular fashion.
Over the years, the installations designed by Henrique Oliveira have represented an increasingly invasive wilderness, up to the point of blending with the architecture of the buildings they are set in. Not only do they seem to intertwine with the architecture, but the wood used in his creations even seems to be alive. It stretches, twists, swells, and spills to reveal the organic nature of their environment. The uncontrolled is then both frightening and fascinating at the same time.