Galeria Fortes Vilaça is proud to present an exhibition of Portuguese artist Gil Heitor Cortesão in the gallery mezzanine. The show includes four oil paintings that use Plexiglas as support and depict imaginary spaces of strong visual impact.
The artist appropriates photographic images of various sources: magazines, postcards, architectural books, or photos that he takes himself. Using the structure defined by these images as a starting point, Cortesão undoes outlines and surfaces, creating new planes and situations with strong colors that he calls "colored dirtiness".
The image is not on the surface, but behind it. Cortesão paints on the back of the Plexiglas, as someone who is writing backwards. The paint drips over the images, tracks and drops imprint speed, and there are a great variety of colors and textures. What we see, however, is a shiny and smooth surface that hides the texture and all manual labor. The Plexiglas takes off the weight; the work loses materiality, which enhances the oneiric aspect of the image. Just as in dreams, where the notion of weight and our own body is altered.
In one of the paintings, a horizontal house cuts across an uninhabited house. Above the horizon the house looks frontal, bellow it one sees the opposite side of the house. Here Cortesão uses both sides of the Plexiglas as canvas for his painting – two sides of the same object appear mirrored. Another painting depicts a number of opened books arranged in a pile as in a castle of playing cards – a construction of surrealistic tone. In the other paintings the emphasis falls on fragments of urban architecture, houses, buildings, highways – a recurring theme in the artist´s work.
This is Gil Heitor Cortesão´s first solo exhibition in Brazil.