Galeria Jaqueline Martins Sao Paulo opens an exhiition of works by Adriano Amaral

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Galeria Jaqueline Martins Sao Paulo opens an exhiition of works by Adriano Amaral
Adriano Amaral, Untitled, from the series Pinturas Protéticas, 2022.

SAO PAULO.- The work of Adriano Amaral is sustained by an intuitive equilibrium between the contemplation of matter and its radical manipulation. From subjective triggers and a meticulous study of the formal properties of things and certain objects the artist’s questioning is taken to its ultimate consequences, through laboratorial, highly technical processes that establish associations between universal elements — present since the birth of mankind — and materials and methods that are linked to the most advanced technology. The result is a remaking of the world as we know it.

Inner Pond brings us works of a singular nature which embrace some of the artist’s most intimate and personal experiences of recent years, adding much to his artistic practice. From his return to his homeland; his rural life on the farm of his ancestors; and from the transformations he experiences as he becomes a father for the first time, he creates works which reflect on his observation of earthly phenomena—of those within him and those which surround him. While direct and even figurative references can be seen in these works, they go far beyond mere representation. They seek, in another sense, to establish points of contact with what once emanated from the places, objects and sensations to which they refer. They act as portals to the affective universe of the artist.

A car hood is transmuted by the evocation of its physical qualities. The wings of Icarus, or of a gargoyle, or the crucifix itself, this stunning hybrid object rises up as if it were being consumed by some sort of animistic spell. An emblem both Baroque and futuristic, suspended between obsolescence and transcendence, comfort and danger, the familiar and the unheard.

The series Pinturas Protéticas (Prosthetic Paintings), in turn, gives us unusual pictorial views, constructed by metabolizing the images using synthetic materials and processes. Through the adoption of a rare figurative element in his work, Adriano prints prosaic photographs taken with his cellphone onto fine sheets of silicone. The fragility of the medium contrasts with the tangible projection of the layers that frame each photograph, modeled in a rigorous geometric pattern formed of precise cuts. As talismans marked with the insignia of daily life, they contain spectra which carry the load of the dense energy that permeates the passing days. Smaller, abstract works in this same series encourage us to dive into the fleeting liquidity of chromatic transitions that, although impossible in organic nature, recall natural elements and landscapes where we can observe the movement of life and the passage of time.

Finally, we see rectangular formations in the proportions of a human body that establish ritualistic sites, like force fields that bath all other works of the exhibition. Thus, in their forms and performance, they make reference to beds, tombs and graves. Made of soil compacted into different geometric patterns and punctuated by the flickering, material movement of vapor, candle flames, oil slicks coated with aluminum powder, and other materials, these installations play on our ability to read and relate to the physical nature of objects. When the organic material is subjected to the vector of formal thought and to an attempt at ideal modeling, the irrefutable dynamics of the collapse and transformation of matter under the conditions of the space become clear.

The plurality of formal materials, techniques and resolutions used by the artist bear witness—from his experience—to the heterogeneous nature of the complex ecological relationships that exist on the planet, of the infinite ways that life finds to manifest itself in the world and of the existential wonders that mark the dawn of the Anthropocene. In this sense, these works refer to the great cosmic amalgam, which destroys any notion of boundary, of rigid categories, of partitions. An amalgam that is repeated in scale in the great ecological pact that is the Earth, and within all the beings that make it up. Above our head, an infinite sky; around us, the vastness of the globe; within us, the microscopic depth; in the midst of everything: a single flow that connects all the points.

This neoteric esthetics, which we can call “tecnodruid”, is imbued with the synthetic component, the ideal geometry, the surgical cut, new colors and new textures, precisely to refer to the most elementary indexes. The brutal strangeness that these unusual combinations produce makes us face our own settings, in its most essential sense. We thereby complete a full circle of the human condition. From dirt to prostheses and electrical wiring; from dream to supercomputer; from bath to the magnetism of the screens; we are obliged to recognize that everything, always and currently, constitutes essentially the same nature. Not with that cynicism, which advocates an inconsequential progress at all costs, but to reassess our role as an inseparable part of the environment, and to assume the ultimate responsibility for our next steps in the face of unbridled technical development and its violent paradoxes.

Therefore, the binomials repeatedly raised in this exhibition—organic and artificial, energy and matter, past and future, life and death—are not mobilized to strengthen separations, but to provoke us to consider what reproduces them, that is, the structures of our ontological and, why not, cognitive systems. In other words, they arise to question how we generate knowledge and how it impacts on our perception of both worldly and extraterrestrial events.

If at all times the artist operates within these limits, he does so to stress the circumscriptions which guide us. In his interest in reflecting on the paths being taken in the contemporary world, Adriano’s work is implicit in its message that there can be no exact response capable of signaling when one thing becomes another, and it is exactly the realization of this insoluble problem that should mobilize us. From spiritual sublimation to atmospheric changes and to the physical transitions of matter, the crucial understanding concerns the fluid nature of everything, and our inescapable destiny: to be transmuted continuously, at all times.

With his investigations that combine technical and procedural rigor with empiricism and intuition, metaphysics and mystery with tools and workshop, Adriano carefully weaves his own reflections into the larger questions, always at a point of absolute contact, both emotional and corporal. The choice of the title Inner Pond underlines the sharp ambiguity of his work. While it refers directly to a physical space with which the artist relates daily—and which inspires many of the works in this exhibition—it also denotes an idea or an interior feeling. We may consider it an immaterial body of water through which the affections that mobilize us flow, and which sustains us from our very core.

One who becomes aware of their "inner pond" does not see the reflection of the world nor their own. If they enter into it, it is to submerge themselves with their own conscience, to live the rapture and to be transformed from their own selves.


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