Dreamscapes embraces the undefined, coalescing into a brilliant, sensorial emancipation, an embodiment of the very essence of abstract art wherein the works ultimately function as vessels for whatever one may need: reflection, understanding, or transformation.
Clara Fialho’s artistic sensibilities are interpreted as an intimate, liminal study of emotion, removed from the constructs of time and space in The Contemporary Art Modern Project’s April exhibition, Dreamscapes. The result is an expert layering of personal experiences, color, and technique, a collection of contemplative scenes whose energies and meanings are left up to interpretation. Her approach to abstract work is grounded in an intentionality that finds its footing in an intertwining of psychology, surrealism, universal symbols, and her previous portraiture practice, allowing her to appropriate both the reflexive qualities of instinct with the objective spirit of realism into a reframing of existential sentiments. Dreamscapesexplores Fialho’s adaptive realms, unconfined by time and space,bringing witnesses to unnamed, yet defined points of respite, and occupying spaces between the dichotomies of disorder and form; individual and collective; discipline and fluidity; tension and repose; texture and color; dimension and ephemerality.
Fialho takes advantage of the space she allots herself, allowing her compositions to transcend firm interpretations into completely liminal territories. Ethnographers Arnold Van Gennep’s and Victor Turner’s work on the concept of liminality has given society a name for the viscerally ambiguous checkpoints of a life lived, though it is Turner’s description of liminal experiences in The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure (1969) as “betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial,” that run concurrent to Fialho’s endeavor. This is best exemplified by Fialho’s deliberate toying with illusions, or remnants, even, of negative space through a recurring use of orb-like forms, no matter if they’ve been colored in to totality, overlapped with thick coats of paint, or left empty to bring forth the raw material underneath, and mirroring the weight, or power, that we allow any one thing. Dreamscapesfeatures the debut of It Was Good to Be Loved, a ten-year project that can be approached as an archive of the growing pains that accompany our existences, be they emotional, spiritual, or physical. Fialho’s color palette further runs parallel to interrogations of emotion, a study of emotional potential in both delicate and deep, almost severe hues, often on the same piece. This duality, or multiplicity, is present throughout her body of work—elegant watercolor pieces are exercises in spontaneity, and exist neatly alongside large-scale oil paintings, which are carefully planned ahead in her collection of sketchbooks, all living catalogues of Fialho’s conceptual instincts.
Dreamscapes embraces the undefined, coalescing into a brilliant, sensorial emancipation, an embodiment of the very essence of abstract art wherein the works ultimately function as vessels for whatever one may need: reflection, understanding, or transformation. Nonetheless, Dreamscapes, and by extension, this statement, whether it is seen from afar or through a magnifying lens, is offered to the viewer as an invitation to stand right here and experience.
Statement by Maria Gabriela Di Giammarco