free will

Ana Manso

free will, 2019

The painting process for Ana Manso (b.1984 Lisbon) is a mix of rational and irrational decisions. With the surface of the canvas – a place where abstraction meets real-life being at the centre of her practice, Manso’s paintings embody the possibility of encounter, becoming thus a place where the unpredictability of chance is orchestrated by the conscious selection of the correct elements. Testing the limits of abstraction through resemblances appropriated from nature, Manso touches upon the thin line between the abstract and the representational while highlighting the animism, characteristic for the microcosms of forms and shapes, distinctive for her present work.

Far from any form of rational classification, the organic-driven nature of Manso’s recent paintings reminds of an eye rub. Flashes of color and shapes are projected on our eye-lids’ inner side, 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 also another type of reading. A reading directed rather than towards the conclusive and the purely rational, towards freedom of association, bringing her work closer to life.

The work of Ana Manso has been exhibited at Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal; FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; Spike Island, Bristol; Mudam Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Matadero Madrid, Madrid; 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, Porto, Portugal; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas, Elvas, Portugal; or the Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Lisbon; among others.