Pedro Cera is proud to present the fourth exhibition of Ana Manso at the gallery.
Surface has always been at the centre of Ana Manso’s practice. Even during her short-lived adventures and passing escapes from the medium of painting, (usually never lasting longer then a winter afternoon), the urge to explore the limitless, yet simultaneously limiting possibilities of a (blank) surface, have been a constant urge and a long-lived temptation for the artist. A surface for Manso, is a place where abstraction meets daily life. It is a place of possibility and of encounter, a place where the unpredictability of chance is orchestrated by the conscious selection of the right ingredients.
The actual process of painting for Ana Manso, is a mix of rational and irrational decisions. While the choice of surface, as in the placement of a given painting, has been a spoken preocupation for the artist for some time, (her many murals can serve us here as only one of many examples), surface, as in texture, is a new element in her practice. Testing the limits of abstraction through imitation of materials (surfaces), appropriated from daily life, Manso touches up on the thin line between the abstract and the representational. Making sure they are physically kept apart, the artist uses these imitated/appropriated motive(s) as an architectural element and as a way to create rhythm for the viewing of her paintings. The introduction of representational ingredients then highlights the animism, characteristic for the microcosms of forms and shapes, distinctive for these works.
Far from any form of rational classification, the microcosmic and organic driven nature of Manso’s recent paintings, reminds us of an eye rub. Flashes of colour and shapes are projected on the inner side of our eye-lids, some reminiscent of known objects, while others purely abstract. The tension between both, creates a need to explore the depth of these paintings. A depth that is no longer achieved through multiplying layers of paint, but by a density and impenetrability of a worked surface, drawing the eye deep in. The seductive possibility of interpretation inherent to these paintings, generates however another type of reading. A reading that is directed rather than towards the conclusive and the purely rational based, towards freedom of association that brings us closer to life.
Ana Manso has studied painting at the Art Academy in Lisbon. Her work has been exhibited at Museu Serralves (Oporto), Matadero Madrid (Madrid), FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art (Prague), Spike Island (Bristol), Chiado 8 – Arte Contemporânea (Lisbon), Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte (Naples), Fondazione Rivolidue (Milan) or Museu da Electricidade (Lisbon) among others. Her works are part of the collection of Museu Serralves (Oporto), Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas (Elvas, Portugal) or the Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (Lisbon) among others.