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At the end of it all there’s the beginning, the negotiation! Carlos Noronha Feio at 3+1 Galeria 3+1 Arte Contemporânea

“The negotiation!”

The title of Carlos Noronha Feio’s exhibition at Galeria 3+1 Arte Contemporânea ends with an exclamation. Would it be a matter of urgency? Or relief? The artist’s most recent work contains abstract paintings and sculptures. But, as Alistar Hicks suggests in the exhibition text, abstraction is a starting point. Or perhaps a return? Or neither departure nor return, but negotiation? Negotiation is not a single voice giving instructions. Negotiation is an unstable balance. Negotiation is not fixed; on the contrary, it is fluid. And so is Carlos’ work, with its different disciplines and mediums.

The six paintings on show repeat a pattern – patches of white create a background on linen canvases. Overlapping strokes in red, yellow or blue create organic forms. The two-dimensional compositions relate to sculptural elements in neon lights or gilded aluminium. The assemblage reveals the contrast between the opaque of spray, gouache and tempera paints and the brightness of metal and neon. Another subtle formal aspect, but part of the final work, is the shadow generated by the three-dimensional pieces. Linen, pigment, neon lights, plastic, metal, and shadow. The application of the raw materials is made to create an asymmetrical harmony. Both by the inherent quality of the material and the related shapes and colours.

The poetics of the work titles also deserves to be highlighted: an elusive predicate – oh! so nice, so nice, so damn nice; a cobra, o vento e o poder rosa; super! The use of the interjection in the titles, as in that of the exhibition, conveys an energy of excess and pleasure. There is an affirmative side to abstract expressionism in the exhibition. Hicks’ text tells us that the artist’s recent process of creation is a way of freeing himself from his previous research, inspired by colonialist books and the structuralism under the order of its authors. Drawing on the theory of Deleuze, Agamben and Foucault, Carlos wants to subvert – «one step at a time», he writes. However, this quest has pushed the artist to the limit. Negotiation between abstraction and critique seems to be his path. Contrary to Hicks’ suggestion that Noronha Feio’s new series of paintings bypasses direct abstraction, I would argue that the direction is: by, through, inside. “The only way out is through” – a cliché, but one that I deem appropriate.

At the end of it all there’s the beginning, the negotiation! , by Carlos Noronha Feio, is at Galeria 3+1 Arte Contemporânea until July 31.

Maíra Botelho (1991, Brazil) has a multidisciplinary education within the fields of visual communication, arts, philosophy and performance. She worked as a graphic designer in Brazil after graduating at PUC-MG, having also studied arts at Escola Guignard – UEMG and at Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade de Lisboa. She recently finished a Post-graduation in Aesthetics – Philosophy at Nova Universidade de Lisboa.

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