Minimal direction: Alexandre da Cunha at Thomas Dane Gallery
The London-based Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha creates ‘ready mades’; re-contextualising found objects, but on a monumental scale. His new show, ’Free Fall’, at London’s Thomas Dane Gallery, includes a massive pre-cast concrete corner piece with a useful semi-circle cut into it. Da Cunha slots in a spinnable – possibly – black metal disk, creating an elegant, imposing stabile, perfectly working the angles, out of infrastructural off-cuts.
In another piece, Free Fall 1, Da Cunha hangs a full-sized military surplus parachute on a steel frame. Here it becomes a giant totem or flag, not a downed bird or anything flaccid and deflated but perhaps a super-heroic cape; it’s too light, flighty and lyrical to be it-is-what-is minimalism. Elsewhere what look like oversized concrete doughnuts line up on another steel frame or cable hangs in loops.
Da Cunha says he is less a maker than a ‘pointer’, making the familiar unfamiliar. He seems to underestimate how far he takes these objects, how magically transformed they are.