Teresa Viana has always been guided by gesture. The broader her gestures, the more her pictures built with thick layers of paint gained unforeseen body. It is precisely this confrontation of medium and space that now assumes new features. In the 20-meter-long panel installed at Centro Universitário Maria Antonia, which covers the three-meter high wall from top to bottom, the artist uses cutouts and collage–in this case, the layering of color patches.
Taking a pair of scissors, the artist cuts colored buckram cloth into patches of assorted shapes and sizes that she then staples on a large surface–an operation that yields highly unpredictable results. Like broad brushstrokes on a planar surface, each of these color patches represent a gesture by the artist, her body, and the movement that dictates the place of color in the world.
Viana never loses sight of painting’s specific grammar; she has never stopped appreciating its seductive power. Like with her paintings, color engenders form in these synthetic assemblages.
In her work, colors emerge that are placed under tension and spread sideways, taking upon themselves to organize the canvas. However, in no time the canvas will become unstable again, only to resume their continual search.
To Teresa Viana, this turmoil that the artist stirs on the boundless surface before our eyes–a vortex that draws in the viewer– represents her manifesto of confidence in the power of color and painting.
Original Portuguese text published in the catalog of the exhibition held at CEUMA-USP – May 2002