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Press Release

Sean Kelly is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Julião Sarmento.

Sarmento's exhibition is comprised of nine new mixed media paintings and three important new sculptures. In this group of paintings, Sarmento has silk-screened fragmentary selections of text from Michel Foucault's posthumously published essay on Georges Bataille, directly onto the surface of the paintings, integrating language with his iconic images. The texts outline Foucault's thoughts on Bataille's idea of transgression. The works in the exhibition extend Sarmento's continuing fascination with the transgression of boundaries and the dichotomies those transgressions often illuminate, such as spirituality and eroticism, sexuality and morality. Transgression, as articulated by Foucault and interpreted by Sarmento, is not merely rebellion, or a break down of limits, but also the self being pushed to its own limits, where it uncovers new boundaries, in an infinite progression, that instead of liberating the self from its confines, imposes new strictures that must again be transgressed.

Julião Sarmento was born in Lisbon in 1948 and has exhibited extensively worldwide since 1979. Sarmento has been included in two Documentas and three Venice Biennales. His work is represented in public and private collections worldwide such as: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Musée National d'Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan.

Recent major exhibitions have included: Drift, A Project by John Baldessari, Julião Sarmento and Lawrence Weiner, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal, and the Miami Design District, Miami Beach, Florida; Ghosts, CAV – Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra, Portugal and Echo, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Sarmento's forthcoming solo exhibitions include Palácio Nacional de Queluz, Queluz, Portugal; the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium and the Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal.

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