Where do images come from? ◄ Back

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Three painters from the same generation, born between 1959 and 1965, come together in the same space and in the same gallery, with works that are of three very different, very contrasting types. As such, this exhibit is not merely the sum total of these three types of works, but a combination which, due to the confrontation created between works, ends up posing problems that are different from those posed by each one individually, thereby undoing the inventory effect that so often characterizes collective exhibits. Seen in close proximity, the paintings and collages of Urbano, Ana Vidigal and Miguel Telles da Gama led me immediately to the question which serves as the title of this text: Where do images come from? These works contain painting and images; moreover, one mutually implies and challenges the other. Through the contrast between them, through their fusion and diffusion, they imply three different yet complimentary registers of the image and of its appearance in the painting. Case by case, we meet up… - with Urbano, a matter which seems to function as the support or as the preparation for the image, while the latter is something to be affixed or added, in the manner of a drawing upon a surface that is uncertain and wrinkled like a wall. From this arises the counterpoint and, in certain cases, the suggestion of the formless, of the organized stain which trans-forms itself into an image according to the ancient recipe that Leonardo highlighted, but which comes from unnamed time when man knew how to discover forms in the flickering halo of an ill-lit cavern. - with Ana Vidigal, the organized excess of others’ images transformed into her own images through the devouring process of collage made of loose leaves, lustres, book covers, drawings or infantile “scribbles” - all of these are combined, tamed and organized, as in a game where some figures of a larger stature impose themselves as if to unite this excess, generating a space where our glance also plays, as it simulates or reinvents the construction of each work. - with Miguel Telles da Gama the images are also pre-existent, drawn, invented, cited, modified, according to situations, times and material cultures. Different styles and figures converge upon the same space, for which they vie against the painting material which structures, organizes and gives unity, or the illusion of unity, to the space, constantly confronting form and figure. The presence of matter in one case, the restlessness of things, of small things found, in the other, and the contamination of images that come from everywhere, present us with the field of painting as a territory open to what is possible through the compulsive activity of three painters who, as each work progresses, proceed to question and answer their own creative process between the image and matter, between meaning and non-meaning, in movements which can be read as an explosion (Urabano) and as the route to implosion (Ana and Miguel). Thus, in their differences, limited by space and time, these works, far from annulling one another, grow and manifest themselves as presence! as contrasts! as questions! Looking upon the exhibit as an organized combination, we can understand it as a movement that springs from immemorial matter, confronted with images that arise from a vast available “corpus”, imagined and unimagined, manifesting nevertheless a pulsation signalling a return to an initial magma – thus is completed an imaginary circuit which is born of the movement between these very different works. José Luís Porfírio

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FONSECA MACEDO - ARTE CONTEMPORÂNEA | 2017