From the 27th of april to the 26th of may 2017

Curated by João Silvério





            Ricardo Valentim Nunes (Lisbon,1975) is an artist for whom the drawing praxis is equivalent to his cutaneous breathing. It is an essential way of living and not a survival action. And this is of utmost importance, as many of the drawings he develops on his daily routines are his carpe diem, recorded on successive books, as chapters of a larger and more important work, complemented by annotations reflecting his understanding of the world. Those books could be graphical journals, intimate journals, or even a synthesis of the two. As a matter of fact, those books, which are so close to him as an invisible mechanical structure that enlivens him, are the driving force behind a work that is built under a strong will of experimentation and a drive resulting in an intense production, starting in the pages of the books and cast over larger formats, drawn in black over paper sheets.

His drawings are abstract constructions that betoken a trained hand the artist systematically tries to thwart, taking decisions and options that, from the small format used in the books and the scale differential, follow a relation which, without resorting to scale amplification, denote a related composition logic that sometimes even seems to be repeated. But they are not repeated; instead, they are replicated as modules put together in a tension amongst depicted forces, sometimes by a line reconnecting shapes and patches that are momentarily individualized; a glimpse will never catch each of the images produced by the artist.

An almost musical movement is apparent, as if the different sonorities would display their particular notations in various areas of the sheet plane, but those plastic sonorities are concurrently elements that become conspicuous and contract under a more thoughtful regard. Many of these shapes are hostages of our visual memory, as schematic drawings bringing to our minds architectonic plans, towns conceived and contrasted by itineraries that only the drawing can, in many occasions (and this is the case), produce: those opaque textures and micro choreographies resulting from the hand movement, almost departing from the paper sheet, leaving a brief evidence over the white background working as the plan and target of the evolution these works undergo in the process of freeing themselves from the artist’s body. Now and then colour comes into sight, defying the painting the author is creating, as if that practice was a tribute of the drawing and, in a way, its debtor, as these drawings are also the thrill and the exaltation of a reasoning that does not try to achieve freedom in the action, independently of the chosen format or support.

On the contrary, the work of Ricardo Valentim Nunes is a constant encounter with references, from which segments, parts, fragments and connections are extracted, not looking for their model, but aspiring, in the solipsism of the doing, to a transgressive and magmatic discipline, which without becoming physical transforms the geometry in a haptic organicism we could seemingly touch. And his drawings are even able to transform themselves and represent vibrant shapes such as depicted scrapes, scribbles or doodles, remembering the composition based on the pages of the books. The “Propulsor” exhibition is, above all, an encounter with the practice of the drawing as a cumulative progression inside each work.

João Silvério

March, 2017


Short bio:

          Ricardo Valentim Nunes (Lisboa, 1975) has studied at the Antonio Arroio Secondary School in Lisbon, attended drawing and sculpture classes at Sociedade Nacional das Belas Artes (Beaux-Arts National Society) in Lisbon, and graduated in Architecture at the Universidade Lusíada, Lisbon. Ricardo has developed several works of architecture and urbanization both in Lisbon and Angola. Through 1997 and 1998 he has developed several illustration works for the Lisbon Tourism Agency. In 2003 he has participated in the “Artists Without Borders” collective exhibition in the PER F OR ART Gallery in Barcelona. In 2009 he participated in the Pop Up Lisbon event with the installation “The Best Place To Stay In”. In 2010 he has exhibited an installation and paintings at Hospital Julio de Matos, in Lisbon. In 2011 he has presented an installation at Espaço Nimas, Lisbon. Through the months of February and March 2012 he has presented an installation/performance in Fabrica Braço de Prata, under the theme “Space-Time and Other Things”.