Color and structure – Renata Tassinari’s paintings, drawings and collages
Instituto Tomie Ohtake
"Color and structure – Renata Tassinari’s paintings, drawings and collages" brings together some fifty works dating from the mid-1980s to 2013, presenting for the first time to a wider public an overview of the production of Renata Tassinari. Without being exactly a retrospective, the exhibition seeks, above all, to highlight the unique character of her research, taking as guideline the importance attained by collage in the formation of her poetics.
As a fine arts graduate of FAAP (Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado), Renata began her production with paintings that blended figurative elements with the gestural aspect characteristic of the painting of the 1980s generation. Such elements gradually disappeared, giving way to a striking research into color that soon became the hallmark of her works. However, color and matter never became dissociated, since from the beginning Renata sought to rethink them based on their relationship with the support, aggregating to the canvas surface disparate elements like sandpaper, wood, rubber, cardboard, lead, etc., or using different techniques such as encaustic and synthetic enamel, along with oil paint. a óleo.
Simultaneously, as these materials and their textures enhance the colored surface, these acts of assemblage point to a central issue in contemporary painting: if, on the one hand, these canvases revive, for example, the strength of Matissean colors, on the other, in their relationship to the ordinary things of the world, the works Renata developed between the mid-1980s and 1990 remind us of the paintings of one of Pop art’s pioneers, the North-American Jasper Johns, who, in his pictures of targets and flags, placed before us this same dilemma, between the abstract "purity" of color and geometric shapes, and the heterogeneity of contemporary life.
In my view, it is precisely this tension between the autonomy of color and the reality of painting as an artificial and manufactured object that Renata would explore in a surprising manner over the years, culminating in the 2000s with a series of significantly original works in which the artist transforms standardized MDF wood and the acrylic frame itself into compositional elements.
Significant compositional reduction takes place between the initial works and her recent output, a series of oil paintings in which the artist reveals mastery over her colors and their spatial potential. Far from representing a deviation, quite the contrary, these seemingly constructive pictures in reality deconstruct, with subtlety, the entire pictorial surface, calling attention to the lines of their divisions, often corresponding to the physical separation of the support itself, since some paintings are formed by the coupling of two canvases.
It is instigating to see many of these colors appearing subsequently in the acrylic, oil, and wood pictures, suggesting an unlikely encounter between Lygia Clark’s organic line, Matisse’s sensorial colors, and the standardized appearance of the North-American minimalists. To the extent that art can always be understood as a "promise of happiness," what the work of Renata Tassinari seems to envisage is that moment in which painting, without neglecting its contemporary status of "one more thing among others," is able to surprise and differentiate itself.