21/06/2013 | BlouinArtinfo | Aurelino | Paintings

Paintings by Aurelino dos Santos, an enigmatic painter from Salvador, shown at the Estação Art Gallery by Juliana Arruda. Published 21 June 2013. Under the curatorship of Lorenzo Mammì, the Estação Art Gallery, in São Paulo, presents nest Tuesday (25th) an individual exhibition of the works of Aurelino dos Santos (Salvador, Bahia, 1942), an enigmatic painter who started and developed his art intuitively, without any official art qualifications. The 21 paintings showing the modern and metropolitan art of the soteropolitano (born in Salvador) artist have landscapes that stand out for their unique geometry combining planes, shapes and colours. With geometric lines, his paintings depict urban life in a unique manner. Based on triangles, circles and other rectangular shapes and also the use of strong colours like purple, lemon green, pink and orange, the paintings by Aurelino do not bring any idea of depth. “In this planarity it was recognised, to a certain extent, that there was the expression of a deep conflict which personally threatened him from close by and, at the same time, a way, albeit precarious, of stopping the threat. This stopped him falling back on the decorative, as many artists, including some with better cultural content, had already done”, says the curator. The supports used by the artist are also unprecedented. Around the streets of the neighbourhood of Ondina, where he lives, Aurelino collects materials that he uses to develop his work, which seems to seek order in the chaos which is life in the big city. These are bits of wood or can lids that are bases for the geometric aspect of his works. “However, the randomness of proportions require an urgency that geometry is not normally able to provide”, says Mammì. In his opinion, another fact is that the quality of this painting lies in the fact that it does not hide the conflict between the rigidity of contours and the febrile animation of surfaces, geometry and animism – much to the contrary, taking them out to a maximum point of tension. In Salvador, Aurelino was part of artistic circles ever since the 1960s, when he met Mário Cravo and Lina Bo Bardi, but he never adapted and made little use of what was produced by Bahian artists. For the curator, his production is a mix of references that passes through baroque, concretism and neoconcretism, and uses a series of artistic resources such as spot colours, collages, pointillisms and strong strokes of the brush. “The buildings make an effort to get life: sometimes they manage it, and totemic images then appear. Sometimes they stay halfway, and then we are in doubt about whether we see eyes or windows, balustrades or rows of teeth”, Mammì adds. Service: Aurelino – Paintings, at the Estação Art Gallery, Rua Ferreira de Araújo, 625 – Pinheiros SP. Remains on show until 31 August. Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admittance free

Galeria Estação