Praca dos Tres Poderes (Morning)
Acrylic and oil on canvas
122 x 183
Praca dos Tres Poderes is a large, imposing square at the heart of Brasilia, the political capital of Brazil. Constructed between 1956 and 1960 to a design by visionary architect Oscar Niemeyer, and heralded as a landmark in contemporary urban planning, the city has come to be seen as a terrible utopian failure. Functionless, soul-numbing, and inhospitable to human trafffic, it today stands as a dated, retro icon, and a symbol of the death of Modernism itself. Gualdoni perfectly captures this emptiness, portraying a vast expanse of barren sky above the deserted pedestrian plaza, empty but for the discarded trolley of a popcorn vendor. The present, it is all too clear, is elsewhere, and the future is one of hushed uncertainty.