THE SHAPES OF TIME
An exhibit by Sofía Gallo
It has been said that time is the substance of all things, that “it is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river that takes me away, but I am the river; it is a tiger that destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.” (1). Time, then, acquires clothes, appearances, physiognomies – even ours – that make its intangibility something concrete, clearly visible, through the dramatic metamorphoses that it imposes on all objects and beings in the world, animate and inanimate.
Sofia Gallo has chosen painting as a strategy to assume this inexorable condition of life , and travels the paths of abstraction, proposing a kind of simulation, as if she wanted to camouflage her pieces by making them a sedimentary reflex consequence of temporality . Thus, although we know that this is a deliberate aesthetic action, marks and traces of anonymous phenomena, physical and natural, seem to have fallen on the surfaces of canvases that want to simulate that are walls or shrouds . Of course, in this hypothetical decision it could be inferred that the artist is akin to the lineage of those seeking the work to behave as an object rather than as a displaying device; however, nothing farther from her than the intention of that school. Because , although in their accumulation and multiplicity, the brushstrokes, smudges and strokes interweave as an uneven and eruptive limestone clay, Gallo’s call is ethereal and volatile, her character is wet and vibrant, with approaching coloratura and spatiality, perhaps more emotionally than technically, to the molecular grammar of the impressionist tradition.
The difference is that Gallo does not resort to an image of a narrative conclusion; her is an appeal to the gestures, circumscribed to the area of perception. Concentrating and conducting the energy current in the body and the tip of the brush as a virtual extension of the arm, the artist manages a sprinkling of overlapping, textures and transparencies, layer by layer and centimetre by centimetre, establishing a rhythmic and chromatic counterpoint exhibited as an alleged result of chance, or at least of an event as equidistant from will and control as it is from improvisation and experiment.
And this is where the best harmony with these peculiar equations is found, which suddenly lead to believe that we see tremulous wooded territories, alluvial moors ravaged by a furious gale, the acid decomposition of some archaic harmony, or simply the unexpected show within the range of any subjectivity, which science called pareidolia. This event, or invention was first patented by Da Vinci when he said : “If you look at the stains on the walls or the different types of stones that form them and you are able to imagine a scene with people and landscapes with mountains, hills, slopes and lakes, you will also be able to see battles and fast moving figures, strange facial expressions and extravagant costumes, and a myriad of things . And these forms will appear on those walls in a confusing way, like the sound of bells, in whose tolling one can hear any name or word that one wants to imagine ” (2) .
(1) – Jorge Luis Borges, New refutation of time (frag.) – Other Inquisitions, 1952.
(2) – Leonardo Da Vinci – Notebooks
We share the link to see the digital exhibition.