Entrelinhas. Jorge Martins and Mónica Coelho at Ratton Gallery

The exhibition Entrelinhas – Jorge Martins and Mónica Coelho, on show at the Ratton gallery, is the result of an invitation to the artist Mónica Coelho to develop work around Jorge Martins’ tile work.

In the gallery space, metallic wires, previously manipulated by the artist, show colorful paths, and evoke helical and spiral movements present in the work of the artist Jorge Martins. The mutant lines progress, unbroken, vertically, from the base to the top of the gallery.

The variants of the line, shaped here by the artist, leave the checkered, glassy plane of the tile and spread out in the gallery space, in two distinct oppositions. On the one hand, the line establishes a clear rectilinear path, on the other, suddenly, it changes its course and inaugurates a meandering path, and somewhat free, of spiralling and undulating sinuosities. Some peculiarities seem to emerge: first, the straight line appears as an agent of the idea of ​​a path that Kandinsky called “total negation of the point”, then the curved line – in this case spiral – that Kandinsky himself would describe as being a “deviated circle” in its regular way”, and finally the colouring of the surface of the line, which ensures the connection with Martins’ tile painting.

There is, in the artist’s interpretation, a departure from the representation of the plane, focusing on the line, as an autonomous element of the drawing (in space). Among the metallic threads present in the gallery, there are two densities that seem to arouse to the attention of the eye, one density that is more similar to the fluid sinuosity of the line, another that appears to be close to the stain, the design’s quintessential property, and that evokes the idea of shadow, mimicking the usual plastic elements presented in the work of Jorge Martins.

It will be José Gil, in the work Caos e o Ritmo, who will explain that the property of what is contemporary resides in the “peak of the present”, that is, in the “pure present”, “stripped of the past”. “On the Edge of the Unknown Future”. And it is precisely on this “edge of the future” that the artist seems to remain. The “being open to receive from the future the lines of force of the present future”, or, as Gil would say, “situating oneself in the movement of the wave that comes from the unknown”. This existing place, which is found on the threshold between what is present and the intuited future, or in the open, also proves to be fragile, elusive, breakable. Announcing disintegration and transience. Mónica Coelho’s works appear to have this ephemeral tenderness. They threaten to give way, or crumble, at any moment, but as long as they remain, they radiate an arc of beauty and fluidity, evoking heavenly places and authentic realms of creative delight, where there is room for the curve of mirrors, for aesthesis, for shadows and for dreams.

Entrelinhas is on show at the Ratton Gallery until April 30.

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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