FOR A PAINTING OF PARTS
At a time when contemporary art is permeated by a strong narrative overtone, painting at once becomes a dissonant voice because of the irreconcilable muteness it bears. But in their silence paintings do also strive to speak out. And what do we hear when we look at the works by young artist Maria Lynch? Many fractured voices might be one answer.
Patchwork (Retalhos), title of the present exhibition, refers to patches, cut-outs, parts of a whole. The artist’s procedure consists of highlighting different layers of colors in organic, amoeba-like forms that steer clear of any geometrical rigor. It is as if the artist were opening and shutting different windows of color and form, setting up a play of veiling and unveiling, adding and subtracting, which sometimes convinces our eyes to see figuration in what is apparently pure abstraction. And this is not unintentional: Maria Lynch’s canvases walk a fine line that is more inclined towards clear abstraction, but has more than a hint of playfulness, proposing as it does the arguably figurative images, like clouds in the sky.
The artist creates one physiognomy for the canvas, then another, then starts to merge them both by creating a third, a fourth, a fifth. By masking and unmasking right up to the end, when the dynamic is broken. But what is left to us then does not explain anything, but carries on intriguing the eye. Maria Lynch seems to want to work with painting as a place where unanswered questions can be posed, not giving any unequivocal answers, but rather producing openings, multiplicities, differences.
There is something quite uninhibited in this output. These are paintings that are not abashed by the public arena. The generous breadth of the canvases, the lack of diffidence in using a palette that is sometimes difficult to reconcile in the same space, the appropriation of a personal vocabulary in such a short period of time: all these are indicative of a body of work that holds its head up as it takes its first steps in the world.