Laís Amaral's research on the effects of environmental collapse on contemporary society plays an integral role in her artwork. In recent years she has dedicated herself to observing how we relate to nature and the fragmentation that occurs when the human body is separated from its natural environment. For Amaral, the desertification of large portions of Brazil is a powerful metaphor for blanqueamiento, the “whitening” of its population, a project that has continued to affect the country’s social structures and its political, economic and cultural spheres. Water is a device of freedom that lies in opposition to the aridity of urban life in Brazil. The act of painting is a “leak”—a response to these desertifications, and a desire to “wet the ways of existing.” Finding pleasure in disobeying and contradicting the expectations of abstraction, her paintings create a sensitive language that deviates from a fixed linearity. Artist and craftswoman, Amaral incorporates a strong relationship to manual making with the addition of beads and other materials to her canvases, creating textures that become enmeshed with the build-ups, marks, and scrapes that make up the surfaces of her works.

 

Laís Amaral (b. 1993, São Gonçalo, Brazil) graduated from Universidade Federal Fluminense. Her work is currently on view in the institutional exhibitions, Crônicas Cariocas at Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro, and Onde se espreitam vias somos aquelas que permeiam o abismo em busca das frestas with Ana Lira and Helem Salomão at Tomie Ohtake Institute in São Paulo. Her first solo exhibition, Vazante, was held at Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói in Rio de Janeiro. She has also participated in the group exhibitions Between Rivers, Waterfalls and the Deepest Sea. Open Roads at M+B, Los Angeles; Formation and Deformation at Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro; Vesicle at Espaço BREU, São Paulo; and Encruzilhadas at Galpão Bela Maré, Rio de Janeiro. Her Fall 2022 exhibition at M+B will mark her solo show debut in North America. Amaral is the co-founder of the Trovoa group, a national women's collective in Brazil based on the tenet that artistic production arises from different contexts, and from processes uncoupled from academic or specialized training. Laís Amaral lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.