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sage comme une image, by Horácio Frutuoso

sage comme une image by Horácio Frutuoso is at Balcony – Contemporary Art Gallery, Lisbon, between 3 October and 18 November. The new group of paintings by this artist, mostly self-portraits, is sublime and consistent, avoiding the predictable while getting closer to an intimate and aesthetic way to poetry. There are twelve oil paintings on linen by an artist who is increasingly a unique and relevant force.

In general, the works have a rare chromatic and thematic cohesion. The trace is both firm and delicate, underlining Frutuoso’s precision and thoroughness.

His human figure is the protagonist in most of the works, always wrapped in a kind of oneiric environment, flirting with the dimension of memory. The Horácio-painted seems to be present without flaunting himself to the Horácio-painter. The former rarely faces the latter head-on, without ever insinuating or posing. There is also the idea of a certain escape, or rather, an idea of movement, which marks a large part of the works, acquiring a three-dimensionality and dynamism enhanced by the punctual presence of greyhounds and Dalmatians in some of the paintings.

There are several references to previous texts, words, icons, photographs. But this allusion and iconographic motifs have nothing of ancient or rehashed. On the contrary, the proposed images present impressive modernity and novelty, raising the concept of contemporaneity to the best of its semiotics.

The highlight, though difficult, is Against the moon (async) and Reconciliation, a kind of apotheosis of the exhibition. In the first, the mastery of shadow-light impresses and gives the painting luminous-magnetic energy; in the second, the metalanguage feeds back itself in a double and triple way. In it, the artist is in the work as mould and moulder, and there is also the third artist who captures this image. Reconciliation has chromatic, narrative and poetic elements that mark this exhibition in fair proportion, in a human, immaterial, ethereal and incorporeal logic.

The exhibition sage comme une image is a true and powerful combination – more than organic – of the word and the image, in a group of twelve works that are individually pictorial poems. Together they are fully poetic.

On view until November 18. The visit is not compulsory, but highly recommended.

Diogo Graça (1997) lives and works between Lisbon and Barcelona. He studied Communication Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and studies Cinema at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. With a route that passes through places as diverse as Galeria Madragoa and TVI, it finds its fifth floor in writing and audiovisual, whether in the form of television scripts, articles on art or short stories.

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