Fabio Miguez has always produced small paintings simultaneous to larger works. They serve as counterparts to his bigger pieces and are, above all else, sketches to quickly test out untried stylistic outlets. Within them are small pictorial feats, pops of unexpected colors, and fugitive and fleeting themes, developed in varying degrees of attention. The intimacy of scale and their apparent simplicity convey a hazy reconnaissance, resistant to any hard definition. The sky blue trapezoid cut diagonally by an orange grid could easily be a place, a loose fragment from an associative memory. Shortcuts has its title taken from a Robert Altman movie based on the tales of Raymond Carver, where short independent stories come together to form a cohesive whole. It is the fast cut, the quick passage between paintings that attributes to them a loose unity.
Also on view is a new piece from the artist’s Valises series: continuations in three-dimensional form of his research in painting. Valises, suitcase in French, are modular planes that open up, forming multiple compositions depending on their arrangement. In his sculptural production, his background in architecture is informative. Resembling floorplans, elevations and cuts, they expand and retract through the movement of painted facets, its opened totality resembling a small city plan. In these works, issues of space and flatness receive different treatment than his paintings. Through a combinatory arrangement, colors, surface planes, and text undergo repetition, mirroring, and slight permutations allowing, what in painting can only be expressed within the pictorial surface of the canvas, to unfold and exist among us as simple yet amusing exercises to the eye and the mind.
Engaging with the resurgence of painting and influenced by German Neo Expressionism as well as by North American painter Philip Guston, the early works of Fabio Miguez are characterized by heavy brushstrokes, mixed media, and gestural abstraction. However, in the last two decades, his paintings have increasingly abandoned material excess, opting instead for a subdue and flatness achieved through matte surfaces of thin layers, geometric visual components, and a palette of whites, blues, corals and sea greens. The presented body of work, Atalhos (Shortcuts) is a key example of Miguez’s recent pictorial investigation. Each measuring 40 x 30 cm or 30 x 24 cm, their unity rests in the pictorial framework taken from paintings by artists he respects and openly references in his body of work such as Agnes Martin and Henri Matisse
Born in São Paulo in 1962, Fabio Miguez lives and works in São Paulo. Biennial participations include the Bienal Internacional de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil, 1985 and 1989), the 2a Bienal de Havana (Cuba, 1986); the 3a Bienal Internacional de Pintura de Cuenca (Ecuador, 1991), and the 5a Bienal do Mercosul (Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2005). He has participated of retrospectives such as Bienal Brasil Século XX (1994) and 30 x Bienal (2013), both promoted by the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo. He has had individual exhibitions in institutions such as Centro Universitário Maria Antonia, in São Paulo; Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo; the Pinacoteca do Estado; and Centro Cultural São Paulo.