Exhibition “do silêncio: vers Leonilson”(“about silence: vers Leonilson”),
group show curated by Ricardo Resende
Leonilson, Gustavo Rezende, Hilal Sami Hilal, João Castilho, Johanna Calle, Luiz Solha, Maria Leontina, Marina Weffort, Mira Schendel, Paulo Whitaker, Sergio Romagnolo, Vanderlei Lopes and Wagner Malta Tavares.
“The rest is silence” - Hamlet´s last words before dying.
Silence is sometimes a stranger to us. As art, it is giving up words to listen to silence in a natural, unknown situation, having the exercise of seeing as the only resource left. One shouldn´t talk when there is nothing to say; it would be logical to just observe and cherish the mind with the silence in front of art objects, for example.
Yet, it is hard nowadays to face silence, this eternal which Hamlet referred to, that is what scares the contemporary man most. In fact, society thinks of the silences as negative. Running away from any kind of silence, afraid of being disturbed. If it comes across empty places, there is this urgency to get it fulfilled with sounds and noises to avoid confrontation.
In art, silence can be found in a color. It may come in different ways, present in an abstract painting or from a figurative one of a landscape that intoxicates us with the peacefulness in nature. That one noticed, for instance, as we spot a town in the distance between two mountains by Alberto da Veiga Guignard (1896-1962), or in the sea by Giovanni Baptista Castagnedo (1851-1900). In the fields and forests byAntônio Parreira (1860-1937), in the cloudless sky – or loaded with them – as in Projetos para a construção de um céu (Projects for constructing a sky), Carmela Gross´s work in 1981 or in the white banners blown by the winds of memory on Maria Leontina’s (1917 - 1984) canvas. The silence in the empty whites in Leonilson’s (1957 – 1993) drawings on paper sheets. The lightness of the emptiness in Mira Schendel’s monotypes on Japanese rice paper. It is just like what Zen-Buddhism teaches:praising the lightness and the silence of the shadows in a Japanese garden.
Lonesome gestures of silence made of creative moments are the works in the exhibition “do silêncio: vers Leonilson”(“about silence: vers Leonilson”) kept inside like intimate sensorial experiences, like someone willing to observe the art objects chosen for the show, for its silent and contemplative nature as the personal and lonesome gestures of each artist present at Galeria Marília Razuk.
The exhibition starts from one of the many silences proposed by Leonilson in his light, transparent, fragile and mute work. Full and empty. From Leonilson going to Maria Leontina and her banners on paper or canvas, a long series of drawings and paintings portraying abstract shapes like sheets hanging on a line, illuminated and flowing in the wind. And then, we fall into Mira Schendel’s emptiness, speaking of transcendence, of the sublime moment in the need for silence.
The silence in Leonilson´s works is in the rough embroidering on fragile fabrics, in the sewing on light and transparent fabrics of fading colors where the artist traces his lines, letters, words through inaccurate lines. It is in the expressed wish of being Penelope weaving silently, endlessly while time is going by.
Silence is in the “soft” fabrics sculptured in bronze hanging on the wall, in the crumpled paper thrown at the ground, in the sculptures simulating crumpled paper sheets stuck on the wall in the Vanderlei Lopes’s work. In the surprising vibration of the flowers and the painted objects left on Sergio Romagnolo’s canvases, melancholic looks at the banality of everyday life in his roses and sunflowers. In Luiz Solha’s persistent repetition of Ilhas Cagarras’s view where the gesture – as in Leonilson (and in Penelope) – is to weave the repetition. In his way, he weaves the same landscape, day after day, in a silent speech about the time that goes on paced by waves crashing on the sands at the beach, always seen from the same place.
There is Gustavo Rezende’s silence, created around a half-man swan swimming in an imaginary lake. The white base that hosts the sculpture and the exhibiting room become this lake in an infinite horizon,only broken by the melancholic movement of a silent cartoon showing an animal walking in the distance, and a bird-of-pray taking off with its victim… There is the deaf silence of nature caused by multiplying hurricanes that leave the strong and continuous whistling of the wind as a trace, in the swirls of João Castilho´s sculptures. In the terrifying hurricane painted by Leonilson. Wagner Malta, another artist to work with the silent natural phenomena, creates mercury waves in a glass tube, swinging in the silence of the movement raised by two men elevated by ladders in the exhibition room. Johanna Calle and Marina Weffort have the same decoupage process in common in the works presented in the exhibition, nothing different from another way of “embroidering” in the same silent gesture of undoing, creating new delicate geometric shapes that remind abstract texts and landscapes. Paulo Whitaker, more famous for his half abstract, half figurative in large dimension paintings, brings drawings worked with recognizable signs as tower, bird and bridge, usual in Leonilson´s repertoire. Hilal Sami Hilal, another artist more known for his mesh paper and metal works, comes to the exhibition with two drawings. Both predominantly deep blue representing the sea. They are half abstract drawings bordering the fantastic figuration. Rough seas just like Turner’s changing skies.
Silence comes in many different shapes, therefore.
Silence is a mute dialog that awakens interior voices, it can be natural or cultural and shelter the possibility of listening to ourselves. It is a call or an exercise to think of an intimate and creative dialog through the works in the exhibition “do silêncio: vers Leonilson” (“about silence: vers Leonilson”). Silence.
Curator (Museu Bispo do Rosário Arte Contemporânea)