The Hollow Men (orMeteor)
A cobalt blue matter that seems to be dashing, in a threatening way, rightward like it is dissolving amidst a scarlet field, that may either elicit a sea off fire or a less prosaic twilight. Some kind of meteor that moves between the drifting and the instant, causing the metamorphosis to the environment it is heading to. Such image was the most remarkable in the last visit to de atelier of Gelson Radaelli, in downtown Porto Alegre, in a commercial building full of different kinds of business and an ongoing turn over of visitors. The noise of the continuous traffic in the surrounding streets hardly reaches the working space of the south Brazilian artist, a place with particular traits due to the presence of paintings as 10 (2013).
Radaelli had already indicated the intensive use of red and blue in a series of paintings without titles that date back to 2008. Today, in his 4th exhibition at the Bolsa de Arte, entitled Solidez do Céu, the pallet is rather filled out with these colors, but not only. A violet that flirts with the pink also plays around with the black, and this was rather remarkable with the `fallen’ figures, that dissolve, falling over themselves, that date back to 1995. The larger paintings, thus, swing between the dramatic chromatics, nearly epic, and an approach to the artificial, the produced.
It has already been said that Radaelli tracks the extension of the national expressionism, especially when the human figure, never complete, is central. If the trait connects him to countless names of the Brazilian art history such as Oswaldo Goeldi (1895-1961) and Marcello Grassman, the production exhibited in Solidez do Céu finds shelter in an Emil Nolde (1867-1956), for instance, in the achieving of Natureza-Morta com Cavalo Amarelo – Dead nature with the yellow horse - (1914). In that one, the German painter of Die Brücke - A ponte –signs an enigmatic composition, with fantastic figures involved in a disrupting and threatening atmosphere. Ponte – Bridge - (1910) also leads the observer to an aquatic landscape featuring disturbance of.Natureza – Nature -.bears an eye catching purple in the setting, as well as the deep purple in the ultimate Ponteé . Now Radaelli captures and builds, amidst flows and diffusions so intense that they sediment a daily based torpor hardly figured out in other times, scenes of not at all optimistic feelings, as if the promised future held horror as fate, ruin as an inexorable state. A mix of Lars von Trier in Melancolia (2011) _ we are reminded of the hazard of the incoming intrusive celestial body _ and the writings of Henry James (1843-1916), without appealing to the strangeness of freaks and similar ones.
The works by Radaelli may also bind with the precarious existence, but bright, of the primevous traits of Chauvet, a gathering of the recent aboriginal art in France and so brightly documented by Werner Herzog in A Caverna dos Sonhos Esquecidos – The cave of forgotten dreams - (2010). The German director conceives of it as a “protocinema”, certifying an unknown modernity. Dialogs between the ancestral and the contemporary, then, may bring about new senses and meanings.
In this age of transition in which we live, products as the newspaper and the magazine are currently wrapped up in contradictory characteristics. If previously the compilation of news and diverse texts to expose the world ¨as it is¨ guided behaviors, now the virtual diffusion, by means of windows and links, turn these publishings into a somewhat decayed kind of structure, more to do with yesterday.
Radaelli, for a long time, used this expressed material as a support of a graphic pictorial work, assigned with a non current agility of the art pieces he produced. The grouping of these works is interesting because it generates a palimpsestuous effect _ however inscribed in a matter so transient and of drafting, as though it made up a book of experiments.
And Solidez do Céu gains importance in the discreet trajectory of Radaelli due to the presentation of tridimensional pieces, currently catalyzes a relevant part of the artist´s visual techniques. The falling figures in the painting of earlier series seem to have embodied, invaded the space, letting aside the two dimensional. But such process was not homogeneous and linear _ there is something distorted, corrupted in the clay and cast. “We are hollow men/Stuffed Men/ One sustained by the other/ The helmet full of nothing. Poor us!”1, writes T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), a North American writer from whose work the author extracted the titles of the works in his new production full of vigor and that should deserve more observation beyond the southern borders.
Graduated from ECA-USP (School of Communications and Arts at the University of São Paulo), he coordinates it for the third year, in 2013, the project Zip'Up, at the Zipper Gallery, designed for the exhibitions of new artists and unedited projects of curatorship. He was the curator of Ela Caminha em Direção à Fronteira, by Ana Mazzei, first individual of the series of exhibitions Zip'Up in 2012 (in that year, there was also Lugar do Outro, by Julia Kater, Transmission, by Geraldo Marcolini, Íntima Ação, by Carolina Paz, Planisfério, by Marina Camargo, Requadros, by Mariana Tassinari, and the collective Imagem Mi(g)rante). In 2012, He was also curator of Incerto Limite, by Shirley Paes Leme (Bolsa de Arte, Porto Alegre); Miragem, by RomyPocztaruk, and Distante Presente, by Giordana Manic (both in the Ímpar Gallery). In 2011, He opened the Zip'Up project with the collective Presenças (that had among other exhibits Já Vou, by Alessandra Duarte, Aéreos, by Fabio Flaks, Perto Longe, by Aline van Langendonck, Paragem, by Laura Gorski, Hotel Tropical, by João Castilho, and the collective Território de Caça, with the same curatorship). In 2010, He held Incompletudes (Virgilio Galllery), Mediações (Motor Gallery) and Espacialidades (Central Gallery), besides carrying out the critical follow up of Ateliê Fidalga at the Paço das Artes. In 2009, He was the curator of Obra Menor (Ateliê 397) and Lugar Sim e Não (Eduardo Fernandes Gallery). He was the reporter and writer of arts and architecture in the Ilustrada supplement in the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, from 2005 to 2009, and presently collaborates with several issues, such as the magazines Bravo and Bamboo¨and the UOL gateway, besides the Spanish Dardo magazine and the Italian Interni. He is the co-author of Roberto Mícoli (Bei Editors) and takes part in the group of critics of the Paço das Artes, institution in which he critically looked into ¨Black Market (2012), by Paulo Almei da, and A Riscar¨(2011), by Daniela Seixas. He is an invited critic in the Programa de Fotografia 2012/2013 at the CCSP (São Paulo Cultural Center).
1. ELIOT, T.S. Poesia.São Paulo, Nova Fronteira, 2006, p. 133. Translation: Ivan Junqueira