Catarina Machado allows you to join in her discussion with natural forces – the sea, when she consubstantiates them into artificial forces – the painting. In the art gallery Por Amor à Arte the marine knots succumb under the null speed of the laboratory, followed by several epilepsies of domination. It’s emotion turned into plastic materialisation.

The bi-dimensional truth of painting counteracts the interception of the surface’s overlapping linear entanglements; the chaos of colours, forms, patterns or lines; the motion fluidity of the trace that is dragged by an incisive brush in her early paintings, and by the use of spray in her latest works; the energetic expressiveness that is created within the aleatory pictorial organisation resulting from movement, from the rhythm of the tides and from the sensation of palpability of the colours. These are the elements that build up the characterology of this amphibious space.

There is a perplexity that comes from the artist’s model of understanding the pictorial space of action as well as from the viewer’s own perception of the same. In the first instance the pictorial setting exceeds invisibly the physicality of the plan, wich is known as the space for unbounded intervention. The act of drawing with paint is equally never-ending. The limited space of a canvas, albeit a mural, does not restraint the act.

It is this permanent adoption of the gerund of the verb act that creates a global illusion of perpetual movement. But it is also this movement of extroversions and linear successions that provokes the sensation of profundity however only as a misleading perception. As far as the positioning of the spectator is concerned the perplexity is caused mostly by the chromatic and shading variations of the tinctures and of the illusory effects evoked by their overlapping.

The chromatic foam of he beginning is lost in the final series. After the first oceanographic map you start deducting smaller masses of water, microscopic portions of gestures that initially were a burden and made you feel dizzy beyond the frontiers of the plan. The spectator does not need any more visual tracking because he now sees the pictorial synthesis of the past progression.

It amplifies.It rarefies. You get the object and the filter. That’s the new direction that Catarina’s work points to.


Ana Luisa Barão 2001