We are pleased to present at Galpão Fortes Vilaça the exhibition Paragraphs, featuring new paintings by Valeska Soares. The Brazilian artist, who has been living for the last twenty years in New York, presents paintings with geometric compositions made with vintage dust jackets and hardcover books attached to unprimed Belgian linen. Parallel to these, a group of photographs is also shown.
Literature is a recurrent theme in Soares’s work. Texts by Calvino and Barthes have provided her with raw material for large installations and sculptures. More recently, the artist made a series of collages using the pages of book dedications, titles and chapters. These works deconstruct the physical and narrative structure of the novels, creating new texts of a nonlinear nature, closer to poetry.
This strategy is enlarged in this new group of paintings, a series of works entitled Bindings. Although at first sight they look like formal and chromatic exercises, the used choice of texts and images on the covers and the links established among them make the works more familiar to the artist’s conceptual practice and to her interest in narratives and fiction. Grouped by contrasting colors, they form large blocks on the surface of the canvas, like printed matter on a page. One perceives that the artist is not proposing a linear direction for the reading, but rather rotates the text in various directions, so our gaze runs along the covers in a labyrinthine way. An abstract mental image is gradually formed that blends recollections of known stories with the musicality that arises in the juxtaposition of the titles.
In the other body of work, Edits, Soares digitally manipulates pages of the book A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, by Roland Barthes, masking large portions of the text with black volumes, in geometric compositions that recall the paintings, but using a strategy which in a certain way runs counter to them. The digital prints wind up forming a new text that includes textual highlighting and folded pages that activate questions related to memory.