Eneida Sanches: MATERIAL TRANCE

June 17, 2023 - October 29, 2023

Eneida Sanches

Eneida Sanches (b. Salvador, Bahia, Brazil 1962) is a metalsmith, printmaker, sculptor, and installation artist. Originally trained as an architect, she learned to work with brass and copper and immersed herself in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé ritual during an apprenticeship with Bahian master toolmaker Gilmar Conceição. Her work as a ritual metalsmith led her to study printmaking and, over time, to expand the boundaries of etching to make sculpture and construct installations.

Sanches has been exploring the idea of trance as a religious phenomenon and the collective social representation of Afro-Bahian culture and its histories for more than twenty years. Trance, according to Dr. Rachel Elizabeth Harding, “is an elemental experience in many African and Afro-Atlantic religions, and ultimately, it is a poetic-artistic means of communication between different planes of experience.” She continues, “Eneida sees the liminal intensity of artists—when they are operating from a certain orientation, from profound engagement with their own creativity and with the lifeforce in their work—as enabling them to transmit understandings, insights, visions, images…bringing what they see, what they experience to a plane where it can be shared.” For Sanches, the body is the locus of trance, making it a material practice—a state of immanence rather than transcendence. Material Trance brings together a selection of the artist’s prints, plates, sculptures, and installations.

Eneida Sanches arrives in Milwaukee at the invitation of artist Daniel Minter who has called her into Lynden’s Call & Response program. Minter, like fellow Call & Response artists Portia Cobb and Scott Barton has spent time in the Bahia, an important center of African Diasporic culture. Sanches will be in residence for eight weeks.

About the Artist
Eneida Sanches (b. Salvador, Bahia, 1962) lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. She has a degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). Her return to the visual arts was the result of her apprenticeship to the Bahian master toolmaker Gilmar Conceição, from whom she learned to make the brass and copper liturgical objects used in Candomblé ritual. In 1997, she began to study printmaking, first through classes in the master’s program at UFBA and later by participating in workshops at the MAM Bahia (Bahia Museum of Modern Art). Sanches coordinated the ACBEU Gallery in Salvador from 2002 to 2009. She was a member of the executive board of the Instituto SACATAR (a nonprofit artist residency program on the Island of Itaparica) from 2004 to 2011. From 2004 to 2015, she coordinated the Circuito das Artes Bahia e Circuito Triangulações, presenting multiple Bahian artists across museums and galleries in Salvador. She has participated in several artist residencies.

Sanches started exhibiting her work in 1994 in the group exhibition, Face of the Gods, at the Museum for African Art, in New York; since then, she has participated in exhibitions in Brazil, Portugal, and Copenhagen. Solo exhibitions include Divination (Denmark), Princeton Arts Council, Princeton, New Jersey (2001) and Trance: Dimensional Dislocations, São Paulo (2018). In late 2022 she opened an exhibition with Daniel Minter, Through This To That, at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Her work is in the collections of the Caribbean Cultural Center, New York; Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; Museum of Modern Art Bahia; Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, the Netherlands; Nafasi Artspace, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Museum of Modern Art São Paulo.


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