Teresa Viana

(Leia em Português)

Teresa Viana (b. Rio de Janeiro, lives in São Paulo) comes from a generation of Brazilian painters who emerged after the end of the dictatorship during the late 1980s. Viana studied in Rio de Janeiro at the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage and moved to São Paulo in 1992. In 2001, she was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. She has spent more than twenty years creating large-scale works mainly with the technique of encaustic and oil painting on canvas, always exploring the boundaries of abstraction and figurative art. In her studio in Vila Madalena, São Paulo, she creates the base of her paint with encaustic (cold wax) and oil, in a technique she has adapted to her own needs: a time-consuming process that differs from the legacy of male action painting.

Viana creates undistinguished layers of paint made of dozens of volumes of colored wax that reach out to the space outside of the canvas, escaping bi-dimensionality. Often, she returns to the work to remove the wax, creating new textures, in a contradictory process of accumulation and subtraction. The complexity of the final result conceals the slowness of this process: her large paintings are sometimes of a colorfulness that overwhelms the eye and also embraces the viewer’s body. A dance enthusiast, Viana combines the slow process of making the encaustic with the loose movements of a contemporary dancer.

Viana has also maintained a practice in drawing and watercolor: a figurative, more fluid and faster approach that is nonetheless in dialogue with her slow abstract paintings. Most recently, she has adopted digital processes to digest our culture of virtual spaces, relating this experience with the tri-dimensionality of her traditional works. Viana’s practice is an enduring process: while on the surface one sees complexity and speed of forms, colors, and interactions of planes, underneath these layers of visuality, Viana is a patient dancer, molding the wax, mixing the colors, adding, multiplying, and then subtracting. Viana’s paintings filter the chaotic urban landscape of Sao Paulo with its graffiti, regurgitating these landscapes and transforming them into imprecise shapes.

By Tatiane Santa Rosa

Visit the artist’s website: http://www.teresaviana.com.br/