115 x 115 x 10 cm
Paint, glue and cardboard on wood
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Purchase made possible by the bequest of Elisabeth Lauener
Construcción Pictórica #23
Space and architecture are the two main themes in the Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga’s (born 1976 in Porto, Portugal) works. Using simple materials like cardboard and tape, he constructs complex, sometimes labyrinthine installations that resemble architectural parallel worlds. These works are developed in an interaction with the room where they will be shown and are destroyed after each exhibition. For his first solo show in Switzerland in the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in 2015, Bunga published an artist’s book called “DNA,” which contains many of his conceptual ideas, such as: “Architecture has the ability to influence and mould our brains so that we can believe in a utopia invented and accepted as a truth, which becomes an integral part of our senses and a way to adapt to these places. A sort of fiction that becomes part of our reality.”
Bunga’s temporary architectural structures are reactions to globalization and the modern-day nomadism that comes with it and that characterizes the lives of many artists today (his exhibition in the Museum Haus Konstruktiv was titled “I am a Nomad”). They also seem to harken back to the architectural visions and models of the artistic avant-gardes of the 20th century. They remind us of Kurt Schwitters’s “Merzbau” from the 1920s and ’30s, as well as the Japanese Metabolists, who in the 1950s designed architectural forms that featured a variability and modularity that symbolized urban space as a living organism.
Carlos Bunga originally studied painting at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Caldas da Rainha in Portugal, but he integrated a variety of media into his artistic practice early on as a way of approaching his main theme of space in a more multifaceted way. Bunga always likes to create new versions of previous installations – for example, in the form of collages, drawings, performances, sculptures, videos, and pictorial objects. One such object is “Construcción Pictórica #23,” which belongs to the collection of the Museum Haus Konstruktiv. As the numbering indicates, this work is part of a series in which Bunga manages to merge painting, sculpture, and architecture in a very direct way. Although this synthesis makes us to think of the artistic objects of the Russian Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin, it also firmly stands its own ground. The pictorial constructions resemble the walls of buildings (sometimes with fittings for doors or windows). The colors and crackle enhance these associations and create a charm of decaying buildings, an aesthetics of the ephemeral.
Carlos Bunga gained international recognition at the “Manifesta 5” in Donostia-San Sebastián in 2004. Since then, his work has been shown in many renowned museums in Europe and the US.