present exhibition | 8 January | 26 February
Islands sighted from the sea seem like paintings
by Luís Brilhante
drawing | painting
The body of work here presented by Luís Brilhante (Ponta Delgada, 1968) is displayed in a discontinuous way -the drawings and paintings subsist through their visual and individual narrative The theme, if this word can be used, is displayed in different shapes, such as rectangles and squares and embraces a huge chromatic range, through the motion//calligraphies and also by a continuous series of accidents that sometimes are shown, sometimes are covered by so many other colors and events.
In the paintings, as well as in the drawings, the spots, the dark and colored, calligraphic lines are ambiguous about what they depict, if anything is depicted. Now the gradients disappear in several directions and a new illusionistic aspect emerges: the depiction of openings, concealments and absences, transforms the pictorial space into a long visual journey of discovery. The illusion is designed to complexify the reading of the artwork. Luís Brilhante uses nearly weightless marks to apply paint spills, splashes and wash painting. Sometimes transparent, sometimes completely opaque. There is a gradual strengthening in this supposed lightness, since painted and drawn “reality” exempts itself from representing shadows and volumes: the look of the viewer comes closer to processual issues.
The exhibition presents a diverse production, developed in the two studios of the artist (Ponta Delgada and Lisbon). It includes a tryptic densely populated by a texture of oil paint (which the artist refers to as a pictorial door). The venture in diversity problematizes the images, denying the certitude of understanding the art pieces, as if it was a dream. The absence of a functional structure concurs with what is persistently transported to a first level of reading the artwork — the atmosphere or, if we want, the landscape.
The flux of colors and the wide range of light and dark, crosses the surfaces in an escape movement, attributing a temporal rhythm to the paintings and the drawings, as if the reading process was, in a way, depicted in the gradients and accidents left at the surface of the canvas and of the paper.
Islands sighted from the sea seem like paintings — because the islands sighted from afar can only be imagined as they are composed in reality. Pessoa, who was not a painter, drew them and longed for them like this: Não sei se é sonho, se realidade, / Se uma mistura de sonho e vida, / Aquela terra de suavidade / Que na ilha extrema do Sul se olvida.