Not That Yellow, Vincent, Feb 5 – Mar 31, 2011

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The Pedro Cera Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with the artist Paulo Quintas.

Abstraction may be seen as an anachronism nowadays. After having reached its ethos, painting, and particularly abstraction, has only been able to be conceived outside of history, with one’s eyes on the future and never on the past. When a painter devotes themselves to abstraction in the present time that historical baggage needs to be removed, or at least suspended. But is this movement, this refinement, feasible?

Paulo Quintas’s current exhibition at the Pedro Cera Gallery aspired towards doing so: to strip painting of its content and references. In order to achieve this Quintas did not start from a subject or image, but instead set out from the format of the canvas itself, and it was precisely its internal geometry that determined the shapes that emerged within it. A process of discovery, of making pictures appears on the skin of the canvas, representing neither emotions nor metaphors. They are just there.

Working in series has always been present in Quintas’s activity, and it is again the case here. The motifs he presents are few and are methodically repeated. Instead he concentrates on perfecting the technique. The process is rationalised, evading that which has been used in other series characterised by an accumulation of matter through the superimposing of layers which in turn represented mistakes that he left on the canvas. Here Quintas refines his method, attempting to avoid the errors that made his previous works denser and heavier. There are only two layers in these works: a monochrome base ‘coated over’ by another layer of a different colour. From here on he would dig the canvas (literally, with a knife) or would sandpaper it, bringing the two colours to the surface. The image becomes flattened.

Just as in his previous series, the process is violent and aggressive, bringing a sculptural dimension to the painting as well as a deep dramatic charge. This set of works entitled “Not That Yellow, Vincent” recapitulates the story (myth?) of a meeting between Vincent van Gogh and a critic who stated that the conjugation of yellows Van Gogh was using was wrong and absurd. His deviation from the conventions of colour and composition granted his works with a problematic dimension that is evoked here in this new series by Paulo Quintas