The publication ‘The Things of the World are Rock’ brings together recent drawings and paintings of Lisbon based artist Maria Capelo. They were shown in the Pavilhão Branco in Lisbon earlier this year. The title of the exhibition catalog is borrowed from words by Cesare Pavese. The artist shares with Pavese a deep interest in landscape, and in the traces of life and history that can be observed in nature.
I visited Capelo’s exhibition in Lisbon and wrote in response the essay ‘Rock Solid Vivid’ which was published in the catalog, along with texts by Tobi Maier and João Pinharanda. The book is published by the Galerias Municipais in Lisbon.
“All the drawings bring our attention to the surface of things, and show structure, strong contrast. They are refined, we see the thinnest of lines and folds, like in a hand palm. What the works share is a transformational unpredictability and suggestiveness. The depicted motifs seem to be willing to become something else. A tree is a bone. A branch is a leg. A bush is a vulva. Stepping into the work, causes a chain of associations. “My work has always that approach, of observing, contemplating and reorganizing what you can see.” Capelo remarked. So she makes landscapes – but she also makes something else.” (fragment from the essay ‘Rock Solid Vivid’)