On Sale Date: April 11, 2023
On Alexandre’s politically nuanced painting cycle affirming Black iconicity
Published for his first North American solo exhibition, this catalog presents Brazilian artist Maxwell Alexandre’s (born 1990) ongoing series Pardo é Papel. Suspended from the ceiling, Alexandre’s large-scale paintings portray striking scenes of communal leisure interspersed with religious and art-historical imagery. Pop-cultural symbols appear alongside these images, including depictions of Black cultural icons such as Beyoncé, Nina Simone and Elza Soares, and commercial products from his childhood such as popular plastic blue Capri pools, Danone yogurt and the chocolate drink Toddynho. Alexandre paints his Black subjects on brown craft paper—pardo, in Portuguese. Although the main series title translates directly as “brown is paper” to reference the pardo paper itself, historically the term holds double significance as an ambiguous racial category in Brazil. Alexandre uses pardo paper to affirm and empower Blackness.