Exploration of the Material Process in Painting

Exploration of the Material Process in Painting

By Elena Martinique for Widewalls - 26 March 2016

Painting is a medium that continually expands and evolves. The radical changes that have shifted its visual language from modernist to postmodernist have recreated it as a practice, giving it new energy and creating the diversity that exists today. For Ana Cardoso, an artist from Lisbon who lives and works in Brooklyn, painting is a continuing performance constantly evolving. Focusing on the history of abstraction regarding the material process in painting and its complex relation to the culture of images throughout the history of art, her work mediates between historical references, conceptual and structural concerns and distribution modes. The selection of Cardoso’s work will be presented at Jablonka Maruani Mercier gallery in Knokke in the exhibition named Folder.

Attention to the Pictorial Essence

Cardoso’s work can be defined as a painting on the idea of painting itself, exploring boundaries and possibilities of this medium. Retaking the heritage of abstraction, she explores the compositional structures and formal properties of modernist painting. She has developed an appropriation process that contains references, contexts and different historical moment. Evoking specific moments or formal and compositional principals from the history of modernism, she encourages a dialogue with them and their paradoxes and potentialities. She experiments with unconventional materials such as cotton, wool, raw linen or plastic, and techniques such as dyeing, stamping or sewing, combining colors, variety of patterns and textures.

Painting as an Ongoing Performance 

Cardoso is perceiving painting as a medium that is constantly evolving and relating to changes in the cultural and aesthetic environment. Considering its constitutive elements such as surface, image, shape, form and space, she creates works out of series of smaller geometric shapes combined into larger ones resembling an unraveled ribbon or folded strips. These individual panel paintings vary from minimalist and monochrome to more diverse in colors and patterns, and can be re-combined, stacked, compressed or re-arranged creating new works of art. In this way, painting is an ongoing activity and each painting is a part of an ‘infinite proposition’. This process is rational and unconscious at the same time.

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Ana Cardoso – Attachment, 2016