Laranjas by Luís Paulo Costa at Fundação Carmona e Costa

Luís Paulo Costa works on painting as an echo of something that already exists. He paints on photographic images out of necessity, an attempt to better understand things or perhaps the world, as he told us a while ago about his solo exhibition Eco | Echo based on a true story at Galeria Cristina Guerra, 2019.

He paints images or objects that arouse his interest due to pictorial or compositional aspects. Orange, being a polysemic word, has two distinct meanings – the colour and the fruit, and is necessarily one of these objects.

Laranjas is the title of this project developed by the artist as a reaction to Espaço Artes Decorativas of Fundação Carmona e Costa. The formality of this venue where there are pieces from the collection of Chinese porcelain and Portuguese faience contrasts with the informal nature of the replica of five orange peels in bronze and painted in their original colours laid out on the floor of the several rooms.

A corner of one of the galleries contains an intact orange fruit, also in bronze and painted mimetically in relation to the original. Three-dimensional paintings that materialize the fruit in the word Orange. At the exhibition entrance, a triptych clarifies the other meaning of the word: colour. The image of an orange is painted without colour, formally depicting the fruit, and we see two orange shades of that fruit next to it.

The humour employed by Luís Paulo Costa to work the word Orange through painting quickly overwhelms us. The noise of the orange peels on the carpeted floor of the formal museum space generates discomfort and shock for those entering the gallery. It seems as if the peels were accidentally left by someone distracted. We feel like picking them up and putting them in the trash, but we are quickly surprised by the weight and temperature of the bronze they are made of. They are not just orange peels after all.

A painting exercise where the object or the word Orange are revisited in different ways – whole or peeled, two-dimensional or three-dimensional and – through different supports – small bronze sculptures or paintings, in an attempt to understand or interpret both intrinsic meanings. A painting work that questions the discipline of painting through experiments about its various dimensions.

Laranjas by Luís Paulo Costa can be seen until February 19 at Fundação Carmona e Costa, Lisbon.

Joana Duarte (Lisbon, 1988), architect and curator, lives and works in Lisbon. She concluded her master in architecture at Faculdade de Arquitectura of Universidade de Lisboa in 2011, she attended the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands and did her professional internship in Shanghai, China. She collaborated with several national and international architects and artists developing a practice between architecture and art. In 2018 she founds her own studio, concludes the postgraduate degree in curatorial studies at Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and starts collaborating with Umbigo magazine.

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