Exhibition views, encaustic paintings on raw cotton, 200 x 150 cm each, Priscila Fernandes, 2018
Currently at Galeria Fernando Santos, Porto, PT
On view until June 2
Exhibition text by Miguel von Hafe Pérez
Luísa's Wedding, 2018
Galeria Fernando Santos
21.04.2018 - 02.06.2018
Priscila Fernandes (Coimbra, 1981) is a Portuguese artist based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She has a consistent international career and currently teaches in the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.
Through in-depth analysis of systems of representation, education and society in the modern world, she uses a wide spectrum of media - such as video, installation, photography and drawing - to map a personal vision that reveals the structure beneath models of conviviality, work and behaviour. Commencing with historical narratives (e.g. those proposed by modernist painters or teachers) or fictional narratives (in which utopias serve as metaphor for fleeing from conventional ideas), she establishes unexpected parallels between play and work structures, between learning and social conditioning.
Using these practices and methods, she has already won considerable national and international recognition (including the EDP New Artists Award in 2011 or participation in the São Paulo Biennale in 2016). However this new exhibition - Luisa's Wedding – marks a turning point in her career. Although formally conceived using the traditional disciplines of painting and drawing, the exhibition refers to a recurring conceptual matrix that underpins much of her work: a malleable visual language is used to express a specific propositional reality. The resulting tension informs the perceptive games, colour and composition which are thus historically and socially conditioned.
The exhibition is divided into two core nuclei, in function of the exhibition space’s different lighting environments. Encaustic paintings of medium- and large-scale dimensions are shown in the main rooms, with two panels of drawings in the side rooms. The paintings on raw cotton are crossed by a transparency that contributes to their reiterated watery state. Encaustic painting involves heating the wax as a binder and the warm colours seem to respond powerfully to this process, suggesting an execution which is intuitive, rather than being compositionally structured, corresponding to the need to work quickly because of the relatively short drying times. In the drawings, by contrast, we don’t detect the transparency effect of the raw cotton. The colours are colder, and the compositions are simpler and fragmentary. In this back-and-forth movement between ecstasy and distension, the works establish an indeterminate fabrication across time and space - an erratic magma of the here-and-now, as a vital flow in the pursuit of pure happiness.
Luísa's Wedding is a libertarian, fluid exhibition in which pleasure assumes a political sense of becoming. In these paintings, in which bodies gravitate freely, the underlying canon is the happiness of the encounter, of touch, cross-breeding and dilution of boundaries between genres. The pleasure of taking a break in the existential interval of the rational determinism of supposed economic and social effectiveness. Art as the possibility of opening up significant parentheses in the expected run of events. This is the discreet magnitude of Priscila Fernandes’ current exhibition.
Miguel von Hafe Pérez, 2018
The Gallery and the artist are grateful for the support of In4Art, Mondriaan Fonds, Netherlands and CBK R’DAM.
Exhibition views, encaustic paintings on raw cotton, 140 x 100 cm each, Priscila Fernandes, 2018
Exhibition views, encaustic paintings on raw cotton, 200 x 150 cm and 140 x 100 cm, Priscila Fernandes, 2018
Nós, redes e tramas, encaustic painting on raw cotton, 200 x 150 cm, Priscila Fernandes, 2018
Banhistas à meia noite - I and II, installation view, 168 x 267cm and 168 x 237 cm , Priscila Fernandes, 2018
Banhistas à meia noite I, installation view, 168 x 267cm, Priscila Fernandes, 2018