The show brings an overview of Paulo Pasta's recent production, with a wide selection of works produced during the past year. That same week, Instituto Tomie Ohtake opens a solo exhibition dedicated to the artist, with large-scale paintings from different phases in his career, selected by curator Paulo Miyada. A happy coincidence that allows the general public to doubly confirm the solidity and maturity of his work and to witness Pasta's rare ability to reinvent himself without losing his identity.
Titled Lembranças do Futuro, the show at Anexo Millan delves into an essential aspect of the artist’s work: time. His canvases show a clear relationship to memory, a conjunction between past, present and future; as if, when standing before them, we put ourselves before an expanded, dilated time. It has nothing to do with the time of the clock, or the condensation of a fleeting moment, but with the construction of a latent, contemplative state, created through a delicate balance, which is both rigorous and intuitive, between form and color.
The exhibition brings together a select group of paintings that were created by the artist during the past year. Despite the short time frame in which they were produced, they touch upon a great variety of issues. Among the most striking aspects of his recent investigation are a tendency to work with darker colors and a great concern with exploring chromatic values. This investigation on the saturation and intensity of hues derives from his research on landscape––a genre not included in this selection; of the function of color as a central element for the creation of optical effects in painting.
Placed side by side in subtle tonal contrasts, overlapping to create an imprecise intermediate area, or powerful nuclei that seem to emanate light, Pasta's colors do not exist in isolation. They gain strength from the relationships that they establish with each other. As he often says, "color is a suggestion, a state of mind. It is hard to translate something that is so intuitive. It has to do with a desire, which is not only rational.” He adds: "I like to let my work lead me and I will understand it later. The opposite, for me, is more harmful, more pernicious.”
This imponderable, experimental side of Pasta's production is also present in his choice of the structural forms that organize his canvases, in their dimensions, and in the formal purification of each composition. Usually working multiple canvases at once, the artist carries out several investigations simultaneously, establishing a broad field of inquiry from only seemingly reduced elements. In these more recent productions, for example, diagonal lines––which suggest depth––are more prominent. But they coexist with already familiar schemes outlines such as crosses and strips.
The diversity between works that are paradoxically very familiar is felt even more intensely among works of different scales. It is as if the compositional and formal relationships took on very specific characteristics according to the space they occupy. The small paintings on paper, such as those from Pasta's visual essay for Serrote magazine–– which will take up an entire wall of the gallery annex––bring a lightness of gesture and less of a commitment to refinement, which ends up contrasting and highlighting the formal completeness present in the large canvases.
This dialogue between the different paths taken by the artist in the isolation of his studio, made possible by the exchange within the exhibition space, not only makes the most apparent aspects of his research more tangible, but shows the importance, in almost equal doses, of effort and desire in his artistic practice. Often referring to master's of painting who preceded him, Pasta frequently says that he learned the importance of discipline from Matisse and the importance of patience from Volpi. According to him, “intention is not enough, the project must be subjected to daily, persistent, slow action, thus becoming destiny.”
Paulo Pasta (1959, Ariranha, SP, Brazil) has a PhD in visual arts from the University of São Paulo (2011), he has held solo exhibitions in different spaces, such as Galeria Carbono, São Paulo, SP, and Paulo Darzé, Salvador, BA (2017); Palazzo Pamphilj, Rome, Italy (2016); Galeria Millan, Anexo Millan and Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil (2015); Sesc Belenzinho, São Paulo, SP (2014); Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013); Centro Cultural Maria Antonia, São Paulo, Brazil (2011); Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2008); Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, SP (2006); among others. He also participated in important group shows, including: MAC-USP no Século XXI – A Era dos Artistas, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil (2017); Clube de Gravura – 30 Anos, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil, and Os Muitos e o Um, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil (2016); 30 x Bienal, Bienal Pavilion, São Paulo, Brazil (2013); Europalia, International Art Festival, Brussels, Belgium (2011); Matisse Hoje, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil (2009); Panorama dos Panoramas, MAM-SP, Brazil (2008); MAM [na] Oca, Oca, São Paulo, Brazil (2006); Arte por Toda Parte, 3rd Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2001); Brasil + 500 – Mostra do Redescobrimento, Bienal Pavilion, São Paulo, Brazil (2000); III Bienal de Cuenca, Equador (1991), among others. His works are part of several permanent collections, including: Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Belas-Artes do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, USA; and Kunsthalle, Berlin, Germany.