Maria Nepomuceno

'Dentro e fora infinitamente'

Across decades, Maria Nepomuceno has developed a collaborative and generative relationship with a group of female artisans in northeast Brazil renowned for weaving carnauba palm straw, native to the region, into functional objects. Nepomuceno has experimented with this medium, inventing new shapes, patterns, and forms that incorporate traditional techniques while also integrating more unconventional materials such as beads, raw clay, ceramic, resin, and rope. Emerging through the evolution of this labor-intensive method, the resulting works oscillate between collage, painting, and sculpture. Reflecting the spirit of Nepomuceno’s practice, with references to Brazilian flora and fauna, each woven structure appears as its own complete and beautifully balanced ecosystem, made up of a seemingly endless and complex network of interconnected and overflowing elements.

Signature image for Maria Nepomuceno exhibition
Maria Nepomuceno, "Out of the window 3" (detail), 2021, rope, beads, clay, straw, resin, wood, glass, and iron, 82 5/8 x 59 1/8 x 29 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Three of the works on view engage the architecture of the window and relate to the feelings of longing for movement and connection and lingering between internal and external, indoor and outdoor that Nepomuceno has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. A fourth sculpture, titled Xamã II, which translates to “shaman” in Portuguese, embodies the flow of energy in a proclamation of the healing power of possibilities.

About the artist

Maria Nepomuceno (b. 1976, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. She began studying fine art and theory at the Parque Lage School of Visual Arts and continued her studies in industrial design and scenography at UNIRIO, the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Her most recent solo exhibition, Maria Nepomuceno: Refloresta!, was presented at the Portico Library in Manchester, U.K. She has also presented solo exhibitions at venues including Stavanger Art Museum, Norway; Barbican Centre, London; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; and Turner Contemporary, Margate, U.K. Her work is held in the collections of Magasin III, Stockholm; FAMA Museu, Itu, São Paulo; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as in the Rubell Family Collection.


Install Views

Programs and events


Dentro e fora infinitamente is organized by SCAD Museum of Art assistant curator Brittany Richmond.

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