With the following artists:
Maria José Cabral, Mariana Malheiro, Paula López-Bravo and Vera Matias.
text by Linda Morando di Custoza,
AINORI gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition Altrove. The art display spans across the works by the Portuguese artists Maria José Cabral (Lisboa, 1993), Mariana Malheiro (Lisboa, 1995), Vera Matias (Porto, 1994) and the Spanish artist Paula López-Bravo ( Madrid, 1986).
The protagonists of this exhibition use shapes and colours to describe their everyday life and their creative self. Each work takes on the connotations of an original “artist’s studio” focused on the universe of personal and collective emotions. This process is well expressed by the title of the exhibition, which in fact refers to the Latin word “aliter-ubi”, meaning “differently where”. Altrove, an Italian word meaning “elsewhere”, is intended here as the place that symbolises the absence of the empirical, the banal. It is a sphere of experience aimed at suggesting a desire to escape, of alienation, and which takes concrete form by the hands of the protagonists representing their becoming in the world by re-elaborating the past and imagining the future, in creations on canvas, or on paper.
The Spanish artist Paula López-Bravo expresses her idea of the Altrove by representing the combination of the real and the unreal made possible by a mix of abstraction and figuration, a dominant element in the development of artistic representation. The painter’s creative process is a game of harmonies and disharmonies, between abstract works and the concreteness of the characters represented: images that transport us to estranging universes.
Maria José Cabral’s new series of paintings also leads into the world of Altrove by drawing on her most vivid and recent memories. In her works she combines pop iconography, 1960s cinema and 1940s cartoonist iconography with surprising results. Her creations are an evident reworking of reality in which the union of memory and imagination gives rise to “diverging” representations, in the etymological sense of the term, i.e. “turned elsewhere” (from the Latin “de” distancing “vertere” turning).
Through Mariana Malheiro’s works we are introduced to the painting of the Altrove, to the purest research. Her interest in human figures allows her to create real characters within pictorial stories. The artist transforms the visual landscape from a simple silent observer into a poetic and eternal space in which the themes of the oneiric and surreal dominate.
The striking works by artist Vera Matias do not leave the observer indifferent due to their intense and brilliant colour choices. Her creations are an obvious deconstructing study of human figures, home objects and everyday elements that are part of the artist’s intimate and personal experience and that are brought via her creation to a different, almost surreal, space “elsewhere”. Each painting incorporates a perspective which highlights the relationship the artist creates with the people and things around her.
All the works in Altrove often present unpredictable juxtapositions that disorient and amuse at the same time. Works in which the artist’s act of seeing is reconstituted by the signs traced on the canvas or paper. Although the exhibition features very different works, the fine thread of “elsewhere” connecting them allows us to grasp the contemporary generational search for new horizons within the complex and elusive current situation.