the shadow of the clouds
The shadow of the clouds is the title that Rosário Rebello de Andrade has chosen for this show which comes within a context already usual in her work. Her projects, usually surrounded by a diffuse aura, bring forth here a more specific matter than what at a first glance it might seem.
The artist conjures places of the world in order to treat them as the main subject for this project. These are real places that can be found on the globe, which she uses not to lead us to the places themselves, but to tell us something about ourselves.
Let us first focus on the group of the 7 paintings that she presents. We realize that the given titles are indeed the names of the seven Virtues that the will of men has nominated as toponymies.
Some of the paintings show distinct formal characteristics. While in PATIENCE almost any contour can be perceived – a rather deep background with diffuse shadows, as if they were paradoxically submerged in the seas; and in CHASTÈ a large blood red scarlet spot of light (di)lacerated with a knife emerges out of a dark background letting us distinguish dark furrows as if they were streets(?), in TEMPERANCE instead, we see a well defined shape centered on the canvas. Over this shape, made out of spots of light that seem to increase in size, again three groups of spot-light-lines are painted, as if they would come in our direction. In CHARITY ROAD a network of tracings intersect again and again over a red blood-like background that reminds us of the circulation of blood in the veins and DELIGHT* suggests that roads exist indeed in the sideral space. Finally in LA-HUMILDAD and MONTE GENEROSO**, well defined spots over brighter backgrounds evoke shedded blood and the prime energy of life itself.
A strong allusion to the body is evident, and to this body placed in space.
In contrast to all this, the seven graphite drawings on paper show charts of the sky, as the artist calls them, which insinuate pirouettes by aerial entities or
beautiful skies that devine sunsets, but that in reality are smoke clouds coming from a nuclear power station that invade the sky. Other drawings represent sights from the sky that, as the titles tell, we know are images produced by NASA that show terrestrial gases provoked by oil explosions or aerosols that penetrate space. And finally a war plane tears a furrow in the open sky.
These are seducitive images that enclose a double meaning and we have no doubt that we are facing a scenario whose mysterious narrative does not want to reveal everything. It is in the relation between viewer and work that its content starts to be unveiled. To confirm it, a globe taken out of a school closet, that RRA paints with a white layer. Under this layer the vague shape of the continents starts to be discovered. Then, over it, seven very small painted red dots. These are finally the places on the world that the artist chooses to propose to us to reflect about ourselves, lowermost creatures of this diffuse space.
Rosário Rebello de Andrade likes to work with metaphors. There is still a key element: a small book where the title THE SHADOW OF THE CLOUDS - ATLAS OF REMARKABLE PLACES can be read. The illustration of the cover shows a man rowing a boat on the high seas. But in fact this is not a book, but carved wood in the shape of a book which she later paints. As if to remind us that we also carve our own way in infinite space.
* Diligentia, latin (Diligence is the english name ot the Virtue, and also means "atentiveness, carefulness") is etymologically the meaning of DELIGHT.
** Monte generoso: Liberality is the original name of the Virtue and is the synonymous of generosity.