João Penalva at Galeria Filomena Soares
Many of the images in João Penalva’s exhibition “Fernand Lantier and others” are associated to several types of materials: blankets, jute sacks, theater backcloths, the hemp webbings of a design chair. The significance of textures and patterns like Scottish tartan gesture to a type of subterranean visible historical past of “first modernisms,” stemming from the commercial revolution and its impression on early-twentieth-century design. This consideration to element is echoed by the prolonged titles; for example, one close-up of a swath of plaid is meticulously catalogued as Macpherson—element of an intaglio print by A. Fullerton & Co, Edinburgh and London, 1833, of a tartan designed in 1819 by Wilsons of Bannockburn, scanned and enlarged 3175% and digitally printed in 2020, 2021.
Complementing the images are three framed assemblages of precise supplies: Composition with three vintage Japanese paper luggage for the storage and carrying of silkworm cocoons and different dry items, and theatrical black Molton from Russell and Chaple Ltd., Retailer Avenue, London, 2021, and two items known as Composition with materials from early twentieth-century European workmen garments, 2021, subtitled as (Blue) and (Gray) respectively. These objects confront the images with materials embodiment. Performing an identical perform is the “Fernand Lantier” of the exhibition’s title. Purportedly a late-nineteenth century French steel polisher, the determine elevates the exhibition past a purely formal train, suggesting the works be learn in relation to the “actual” life and historic circumstances of the individuals who really wore the materials on show.
Translated from Portuguese by Clifford E. Landers.