Exhibitions

Teodoro Stein Carvalho Dias | The Power of the Stroke | from 05/04/2018 to 19/05/2018

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Introduction

TEODORO DIAS
Vilma Eid

In 2015, I had the pleasure of having the first exhibition of Teodoro Dias, at already 60 years of age. Germana had shown me pictures of his work and my enthusiasm had been immediate. I decided to show it and invited Rodrigo Naves to curate it.
I have a special joy in exposing a work to the public for the first time. Maybe it's the bliss of seeing and believing. The fact is that the exhibition was a success: an article published in Caderno 2 in the Estadão newspaper by Antonio Gonçalves Filho, mentions in several other vehicles and, mainly, the viewers success. Sales were surprising, and even those who did not know him, believed in his work. Some believe in fate, others do not. Some believe in witches, whatever. The fact is that the unfolding of this first moment was a very happy one.
I was visited in the gallery one day by Flavio Cohn to talk about a work I had bought from Dan Gallery. He saw Teo's work and was amazed. Immediately he realized the aesthetic quality, and was stunned by the good taste in the use of colors. We started talking about the artist. It occurred to me then to open the possibility of Teo being represented by Dan Gallery, undoubtedly a jump in his career. After a few long conversations and a trip to Poços de Caldas to meet the artist, here we are in this happy partnership. The second exhibition, with a text by José Bento, new works, new moment, and an invitation from Dan Gallery and Galeria Estação.
For us from Galeria Estação, all this is cause for great pride. We are so enthusiastic about working with Teo that we feel rewarded. For him, in turn, begins a new stage, which includes international art fairs.
To our dear friend we wish all success and all the best, and we thank you for the trust in our team. Teo, enjoy your moment.

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Curator

THE POWER OF THE STROKE
José Bento Ferreira

The work of art can open a world for the viewer. Certain images carry profound collective meanings. At times they change over time, as the succession of events projects new perspectives. An abstract painting is always a challenge: are there hidden meanings? Or is it that there is nothing in it but the visual appearance? Would it be the very refusal of meaning and of the world? In that case, do we reject the world for the sake of something beyond imagination or do we stand on the edge of the abyss, into nothingness?
Behind the lines and vertical bands of the paintings of Teodoro Dias there is no sense at all. There is no special quality in the vivid and pulsating colors. Not even in the blues and silver of a variant of recent works. In the combinations between the lines, however, in the variations between the fields of color they form and the different intensities of the strokes, there is a powerful experience of expression, unique in each work, despite the similarity between them, especially for a hurried and superficial look.
Images and works of art play important roles in various human societies, but the manifestation of the image traditionally breaks the quotidian, whether as prayer, magic, remembrance, or representation of power. The globalized world, interconnected by means of mass communication, mainly in the midst of the waves and clouds of the Internet is infested with images. The most obvious consequence of this infestation is the banalization of contact with the image. The loss of the unique character of the work of art (which Walter Benjamin called the aura) leads to a crisis of fruition when reproduction spreads in such a way. Images sprayed by the Internet are not bearers of meanings, but lend themselves to an instantaneous visual evaluation analogous to the mermaid singing of the commodity in the consumer society. The experience they provide is limited to liking and matching. There is no true bond or even a relationship. There is no aesthetic experience of sensibility, but an “anesthetic,” as formulated by the philosopher Susan Buck-Morris: a way of “numbing the organism, numbing the senses, repressing the memory.”
By spending a certain amount of time in front of a painting by Teodoro Dias, it is possible to experience the work of art quite differently from that to which the glance is trained by the frenzy of the Internet. Time is the key word, as Paul Klee wrote: “For space itself is a temporal concept.” If it is possible to remain in front of the painting for some time, not in silence, but without paying attention to the noises, including this text (stop reading this text now and observe the painting), without giving up taking pictures, once canvas as much as lenses, have become extensions of our senses, but for now without sharing the aspects of the painting that the photos record, keeping vestiges of the course of the look, if it is possible to live with a work of Teodoro Dias (there are people who live under the same ceiling and do not coexist, it is possible to own a work of art and not look at it), colors lose their individuality and a universe of possible worlds open up in their combinations, different sizes of color bands produce, between one and the others, a musicality reminiscent of “minimalist” compositions by Philip Glass and Michael Nyman, with repetitions that vary and variations of repetitions. It is possible to perceive different pacing in the different sizes of the fields of color, different shades in the color variations, not in themselves alone, but one among the others, in the “between”, which is the true object of the art of Teodoro Dias. In this harmony with painting lies the antithesis of alienation that numbs the gaze.
More than the previous paintings, exhibited in 2015, whose color bands featured subtle extravasations, hand marks, recent paintings contaminate the surrounding space. More explicit brushstrokes caused the paintings to turn inwards of themselves, while the astonishing accuracy of the new paintings' features, produced with casein paint (patiently produced by the artist) on plywood in larger dimensions, sometimes by contact of the silver tip on the white background, causes the look to remain in the modality instituted by painting even when one turns to the world around it, that is, without seeing space as a set of objects, but perceiving spatiality as a sum of the differences.
We know that one piece of clothing can be beautiful, but that, combined with another, it produces an undesirable effect, or vice versa: a simple piece can be valued by a good combination. This common experience becomes a one-way trip when amplified by the world that opens up from the time when color-field combinations contaminate the surrounding world. If the value of each color field of Teodoro Dias’ paintings is given by the whole (like the pieces of clothing) and the very space activated by the work can be perceived in this way, everything happens as if the way we perceive the world, or our way of being in the world, should be revised from that perspective. That is, as the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (from Proust) has said, I do not see this red alone but as the result of a sum of all the reds previously seen and sedimented in the midst of an accumulated experience that takes shape in the notion of red, which, not being a concept, but something like the object of a universal satisfaction without concepts (transposing the Kantian aesthetic judgment to the perceived world), is alive, always recomposes to each sighting, every new experience of red , at the same time as the notion itself is constituted as a condition of possibility of the observation of red. In this living contact between accumulated experience and sensation there would be a reciprocity analogous to that of the hand that touches and is touched at the same time: indistinctly subject and object.
Twenty years ago, Teodoro Dias dedicated himself exclusively to painting after working for twenty years as an agronomist. Many of the colors that appear in his works come from paints produced from different types of soil collected by him and stored meticulously in bottles labeled with information about the places of origin. “I look a lot at the sun, the earth, the contrast between the earth and the vegetation,” he said, “my reference is the nature.” Something from the agronomist's perspective, inserted in the context of the paintings, blending in the color field combinations, resumes for the viewer of the paintings. The “farm colors” survive in the painting not because of agronomy, but because that agronomist saw the world with a special look, only his, so that the reference that they make to nature could survive.
Because of the sensitivity to differences, this modern and contemporary aesthetic, accumulated experience emerges in the form of painting; a mute life acquires communicability thanks to the strength of the stroke, the combinations between the colors and the rhythm of the fields of color. In harmony with the painting of Teodoro Dias we are in contact with an opening for the relations between things instead of considering the world as the container of things locked within themselves.


 





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