Jorge Queiroz at ZdB

ZDB’s gallery is showing, until September 8, A Invenção do Sim e do Não [The Invention of Yes and No], an exhibition of Jorge Queiroz.

Using an approach slightly site-specific, several rooms are filled by some of the artist’s large paintings and drawings.

In Jorge Queiroz’s paintings, the tiny landscapes appear on the surface of large canvases. Silhouettes affirm themselves within those microenvironments, just to disintegrate right after in volatile magmas of colours that come together in the end. This flow of pictorial matter, which runs through the canvas to burst into gardens, lost places or sweet fragments, consubstantiates a recurrence of these motives. On Queiroz’s canvasses, small bucolic hiding places repeat themselves, unveiling moments of happiness and sharing, and simultaneously, in others, moments of loneliness.

This back and forth of emotions is where the opportunity for drama, the subject of melancholy, the delight of the narrative are born.

Rosalind Krauss stated that, in an early period of the last century, started to emerge a modernism opposed to literature, to the format of discourse, to the sequential narrative. Krauss’s grid “fulfilled its role quite well” and removed the “intrusion of the speech” from the visual arts.

This opposing discourse – vision that characterized the history of art of the 20th century, which still remains until today, appears as a blur in Jorge’s canvases. Because an artist’s painting exudes an “organicity”, it defies the laws of structure – as in Krauss’s grid, in the sense of the plane, the “geometry, the order, the antimimetic, the unnatural, and the antireal” – and so it reveals another structure, less “scientific”, counteracting the modern formalism. In Queiroz, we find throbbing matter, there is no plane, or rather there is a plane (that “simple surface”), but found in that same clash between this modern plane and nature.

Queiroz then recalls a painting that “turned against nature” and instils a compliment to a whole cadre of visual references, as in Theocritus and his poetic, audible and olfactive exhalations, as described by Roger.

Jorge Queiroz’s painting is like a window from Caspar Friedrich’s studio opening itself. No shutters, no frames defining what can be seen out there and, at the same time, what can disturb the viewer, when seeing their own inner self. An interior of “contradictions”, “present in the structure of the unconscious”. As Krauss tells us: “because contradictions are like repressed elements, working to promote repetitions of the same conflict”, or trauma, which in Queiroz manifests itself through the reference to melancholy.

Carla Carbone was born in Lisbon, 1971. She studied Drawing in and Design of Equipment at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon. Completed his Masters in Visual Arts Teaching. She writes about Design since 1999, first in the newspaper O Independente, then in editions like Anuário de Design, arq.a magazine, DIF, Parq. She also participates in editions such as FRAME, Diário Digital, Wrongwrong, and in the collection of Portuguese designers, edited by the newspaper Público. She collaborated with illustrations for Fanzine Flanzine and Gerador magazine. (photo: Eurico Lino Vale)

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