ICA assistant curator Anna Stothart organized the first solo U.S. exhibition for Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão, now on view at the museum. / Photo by Olga Khvan
Even after spending two years organizing an entire exhibition dedicated to Adriana Varejão, ICA assistant curator Anna Stothart still sometimes struggles to find the words to describe the effect rendered on her by the Brazilian artist's work.
is a household name in Brazil, the exhibition on view at the ICA starting Wednesday is the first solo presentation of her
work in the U.S.
"The thing that I really love about Adriana's
work, and you'll see it in each room, is that she never completes series," Stothart said.
Many of Varejão's
works depict organs and flesh, sculpted from polyurethane, bulging from a tiled surface. / Photo by Olga Khvan
is very interested in the history of Brazil, which is where anthropophagy comes from.
Drawing on her
fascination with racial identity, Varejão
created the Polvo series, the most recent works on view at the ICA exhibition, inspired by a 1976 government census in Brazil that gave people the option to describe their own skin color.
As a result, people offered 136 distinct answers: "muddy," "fruity brown," "fox on fire red," "not so white," "brown welcomes black," to name a few.
picked 33 of the most interesting [answers]-and I think the most poetic-and she transformed them into actual pigments," Stothart said.
Tubes of pigment created by Varejão
, inspired by a 1976 government census in Brazil that gave people the option to describe their own skin color, are on display at her ICA exhibition. / Photo by Olga Khvan
" is on view at the ICA through April 5, 2015.