Even the Odds: Rafael D'Aló

14 October - 10 November 2023

Opening: 13 October, 6 - 9 pm


Exhibition tour and Sculpture in the City walk: 15 October, 3 pm


All that was yours and mine of the city and its clarity, wrapped itself up in love, secretly, and let itself fall into forgetfulness

Pablo Neruda¹


Even the Odds is a solo exhibition by Brazilian-born London-based artist Rafael D'Aló. The show brings together recent works spanning the different facets of his practice around the theme of desire. 


A continued interest in the metropolis and the flows of global trade that feed its metabolism has brought materials such as steel and superimposed metal mesh to reoccur throughout the show. Wall-based pieces, painted window shutters, egg crate compositions, and free-hanging works nod to each other through subtle acts of relation and create a gravitational circuit connecting them spatially. The city here is a mirror to the universe and its laws of attraction, which move both celestial bodies and our own internal drives.


One can think of the title of the exhibition in the context of the development of a relationship. Whether it be competitors, lovers, or neighbours, to 'even the odds' is to equalize the likelihood of the relation's outcome which would otherwise tilt in one party's favour. It is also related to the volatile character of everyday life in the city's dense quarters that are filled with chance encounters. We stride from one work to another in the same way that we are attracted to stimuli in the urban setting, our desire pushing us to visit a familiar street, enter a shop, or meet someone.


The exhibition features six new works which may appear sculptural, yet the artist intends for all of them to be read as paintings. Not on canvas or on panel, but rather 'maximalist' ones, as Frank Stella described his Indian Birds series. The supports that are used bring material histories from the streets into contact with his painterly touch, allowing elements from the city's surface to become pictorial. They have been altered in the studio for us to see them in a new light, much like the amassment of urban fragments that Rena Papaspyrou composes in her practice.


Through a reclamation of found materials from the metropolitan environment that he calls home, D'Aló centres objects which may appear unremarkable to safeguard them from the forgetfulness that Neruda evokes in the opening quote. How does the storefront feel about the discarded items across the street, or the pile of metal in the alley which is destined to the junkyard? The exhibition is a meditation on  contemporary material culture and a love story between disparate mercantile artifacts - an attempt to even the odds of these things fading into the background.


- Nikolaos Akritidis




¹ Neruda, P. (1975) [1962], extract from The Wanderer Returned / Regresó el caminante, in Fully Empowered / Plenos Poderes, Translated by Alastair Reid, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux


Exhibition tour and Sculpture in the City walk: Sunday 15 Oct at 3 pm


Join us for a coffee and cake afternoon and an exhibition tour of ‘Even the Odds’, led by the artist Rafael D'Aló. Followed by the tour, the artist will take us on a short walk to his Sculpture in the City public artwork ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ (2020). The walk will be accompanied by D'Aló’s debut sound work ‘Freedom lies awake at night while justice sleeps in a grave’, which explores the theme of resistance against social injustice.


About the artist:


Rafael D’Aló is a Brazilian visual artist who lives and works in London. D'Aló's practice is articulated through the juxtaposition of various media; research on migratory histories, trade, language and urban development guide this practice. Rafael D'Aló graduated from the New School in New York, where he studied Cinema and Fine Art. In 2020 Rafael completed his MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. In March 2022, Rafael had his first UK solo presentation at V.O. Curations in Mayfair. In June 2022, Rafael curated the exhibition 'If I Were You' at the Kupfer, with artists whose works reflected on the body and the contrasting realities of Rio de Janeiro.