Solo exhibition curated by Sara Antónia Matos
17.09.22 - 12.02.23
The exhibition Dois Cafés by Luís Paulo Costa, an artist represented in the Figueiredo Ribeiro collection, on deposit at the Abrantes municipality, brings together a set of unpublished works, made by the artist between 2020 and 2022.
Although there are three-dimensional pieces in this body of work, from which the title for the exhibition is drawn, the exhibition is of a pictorial nature and the issues involved in it are those of the field of painting. This happens because Luís Paulo Costa's work focuses on the credibility that the painted image offers, that is, on its reliability when compared to a photographic image or to a recognizable object. However, in more recent works, the artist himself corrupts this reliability, introducing disruptive elements over the basic painting.
In the words of Luís Paulo Costa: "Two coffees are two people and everything around them. And around two coffees can be everything."
Shall we have a coffee and a chat?
The conversation will be mostly about the ways the artist operates, the places he intends to reach, and the way the clues thrown up by each image are essential to the construction of a narrative that as a whole is untold.
The clues are issued cadentially throughout the exhibition, like fragments, isolated instants of a journey to be made. There is no precise beginning or end. Along the way there is "A kind of opening" , frames and framings, entrances and exits, backgrounds and surfaces, translucent or compact membranes, more and less torn, with disturbances, places and moments to linger or accelerate. Behind these pictorial devices there are certainly bodies and encounters between them that, not being explicit, dye the canvases with the various temperatures of the flesh. The narrative necessarily results ambiguous, opaque, because the intervals between images make the story behind them inaccessible.
Let's go back to "Two Coffees" , to "Exchange of Two Coffees" , and the narrative that as a whole was left unconnected.
At one end of the exhibition are "Two Empty Chairs" , perched on the floor. In reality, these chairs are not an invitation to sit down, for the simple reason that they are paintings and drawings, with the same ontological status as the other works. They are all paintings, despite the different nature of the support. The piece invites an encounter and an undeclared conversation.
Between the allusion that the painting makes and the presence that it is, I would say that this conversation is always around the depths of the gaze.
Sara Antónia Matos