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Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Juana Francés at MAYORAL Paris

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Juana Francés at MAYORAL Paris

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Juana Francés at MAYORAL Paris

The 2 painters in “Resurgent Mild” could have by no means met, however they had been each residing in Paris within the early Fifties. Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908-1992) had arrived there from Lisbon in 1928 to review on the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere, finally making her house within the French capital as a political exile. In 1951, Juana Francés (1924-1990), who would later change into the one feminine founding member of the Spanish avant-garde group El Paso, traveled to Paris for one yr on scholarship from the French authorities. For each artists, Paris was a spot of refuge from the dictatorships that dominated the Iberian Peninsula for a lot of the 20 th century. Right here, curator Elena Sorokina formally introduces them to 1 one other.

Although the work of each painters is usually categorized as Artwork Informel, the choice of work on view reveals their distinctive types. Vieira da Silva’s architectural compositions on canvas, comparable to an untitled oil from 1955, luminously displayed right here, options high-quality sharp traces and a colourful, pulsing vitality immediately evocative of the trendy infrastructure of a bustling metropolis. Francés’s summary earthen canvases, in the meantime, recommend older, maybe geologic timescales. In Untitled, 1958, layered with explosive passages of sand and encaustic paint, Francès foregrounds a free and intuitive mode of mark-marking. 

When wanting on the two artists’ works on paper, nonetheless, factors of convergence start to look. In Vieira da Silva’s A la limite (“On the restrict”), 1972, a watercolor on paper later laid on canvas, the artist’s city grids start to decompose. Curves vie with proper angles for prominence, as she photos what may be imagined as a street by way of a forest. On Francés’s half, a extra rigorous construction emerges in her untitled sketches on cardboard (1957 and 1958-59): small-scale renditions of vividly traced, block-like types. Drawing on Donna Harraway’s idea of “located knowledges,” Sorokina means that the formal variations between these two painters— which appear to cluster round thematic binaries like geometric/natural, summary/concrete, luminosity/density, nature/tradition —are much less vital than their shared rejection of everlasting or monumental types and embrace of corporeality, tactility, and embodiment. Energetic, contingent, and ever-changing, their work is miles away, geographically and philosophically, from the authoritarian hierarchies they escaped in Paris.

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