Carlos Figueiredo: Encáustica, 1994 [pormenor]
Carlos Figueiredo: Encáustica, 1994 [pormenor]

Bar Gallery

entry: General Conditions

Carlos Figueiredo


Curatorship: Pedro Lapa

The Carlos Figueiredo Paintings

The Chiado Museum Bar Gallery continues the exhibitions cicle dedicated to young artists works incited by the museum's collection or otherwise, provoking it as is the case of Carlos Figueiredo.

In fact, the monochromatic painting as a radicalization of the modernist purposes, at least those that took roots in abstraction, had only a few developments in Portugal, in spite of some suggestive nocturnes painted in the beginning of the century by Antonio Carneiro. A narrative dimension has been almost dominant whether in the establishing of the modernity or on its refusal.

These works are realized in a time when the monochromatic painting exceeded its telos conditions for some modernism to question the image and its reverse, to experiment the painting in its post-objectuality. They are executed from a casting mould where the traditional support of the painting — the canvas — participates in it. The encaustic with pigment, that these works are made of, after detached presents in the surface the canvas traces, in negative, raising a memory: that of a presence constituted as an historical censorship to the objectual condition of the painting. The negative and the reversal restitute, to these works, a physical autonomy from what the painting always seemed definitively withdrawn. Anyhow the painting is not denied because, over its conquered objectual condition, becomes an invulgar cromatic quality proportionated by the beeswax transparency. The objectivity of the colour associated to ink, becomes here an experience that results from the physical mass, its own temperature, and the one's eye that travels over it. The light instead reflecting itself on the surface, is absorbed and these paintings become a senses battery.

The canvas colourful sudden appears in the extreme edge of the sides as a trace of atraditional painting — now utilised as material and not as support —guessing a pictorial circulation under the monochromatic surface. That fact increases the meaning of accumulators symbolised by the works, and contradicts the teleological aim associated to the monochromatic in the modern tradition, that is, the objectifying exhaustion of painting as the latest aim of that historical practice.

So we are facing an image treatment that arises from the substancialist and formal modernist purposes, revisited with a strong radicalization, that subjectivizes colour and also objectifies painting in order to deny its contemporary autist immediatism. The traditional dichotomy surface's depth / opacity is overcame by a restraint space that can even be one of an ancient painting collection.