'Umbra' by Gil Heitor Cortesão at Carbon 12, Dubai | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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'Umbra' by Gil Heitor Cortesão at Carbon 12, Dubai

Circular Pool, 2017 by Gil Heitor Cortesao (1967, Lisbon), Oil on plexiglas, Quadriptych,168 x 168cm total, Carbon 12
(Courtesy: Carbon 12)

 

Opening later this month is an exhibition of realistic architectural paintings by Gil Heitor Cortesão. Featuring both interiors and exteriors that exude a tone of melancholy stillness, the show, titled “Umbra,” will be presented at the Carbon 12 gallery in Dubai from March 18, 2018.

“Umbra” is Portuguese painter Cortesão’s fourth solo show with Carbon 12. Shadows, as the Latin title suggests, are complex denizens of these works, both discursively and materially. In Cortesão’s palette, shadow is a projection, beamed from some spectral world. A grey eeriness wafts through the forsaken interiors of the "Passage" series, as well as the cell-like confines of the “Room” works. Color, an occasional Cortesão obsession, has succumbed to a shadowy chill.

The stasis of the neat, geometrical space is disrupted by a painterly mark — the wavering smear of “Passage 1,” pillar-like drippings in “Umbra 2,” and the exuberant splash in “Circular Pool.” Such corporal touches (for this is the painter’s body weighing into the work), far from being some final expressionist flourish, are in fact the first marks made on the plexiglass surface. As Cortesão uses the “reverse glass” painting technique — painting on the opposite side of the transparent surface — the process is inverted. What would come last on a canvas comes first on the far side of the glass. Cortesão starts with the detail and paints the work “back” from there. From the outset, the mark is a deliberate antagonist to the rectitude of the frame — a violent eruption in the barrenness of order.

Across all the works, though, Cortesão manipulates inside and outside, the illusionary space of the painting and the real space grounding the viewer. As a spectator of Cortesão’s world, you lurk: peering into the bright lights of a hollow function room from a somber terrace, loitering at an icy poolside, huddled in oaken shadows.

The exhibition will be on view from March 18 through May 5, 2018 at Carbon 12, Unit 37, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE.

For details, visit: http://www.blouinartinfo.com/galleryguide/carbon-12/overview

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.

 

Founder Louise Blouin: http://www.blouinartinfo.com/artists/louise-blouin--2953510