Traveling Solo Exhibition - 2002 /2006
( painting - drawing - installation )

2002 Portugal, Almada, Casa da Cerca - Contemporary Art Centre
2002 Portugal, Coimbra, Machado de Castro Nacional Museum
2004 Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Museum Histórico National of Rio de Janeiro
2004 Brazil, Belém do Pará, Pará State Museum
2004 Brazil, Brasilia, Portuguese Cultural Centre
2004 Brazil, Belo Horizonte, Arts Palace of Belo Horizonte / Clóvis Salgado Foundation
2006 Brazil, Salvador da Bahía, Bahía Art Museum

Bahía Art Museum Salvador da Bahía  Brazil

Paintings, drawings and installations by Ana Pimentel
Text /catalogue - Solo Exhibition " No Meu Próprio Espaço " by Joana Neves
The work of Ana Pimentel displays a stimulating complexity, both human and artistic, due as much to the supports used as to the painting techniques, not to mention the addressing of the theme of space itself. “No Meu Próprio Espaço / My Own Space” is the title chosen for the present exhibition, suggesting a personal appropriation of a geometric or physical generality. Though life is not conducted according to this order or in these terms, this opposition between individual life and its context remains a reasonable one. One has, though, to consider an approach to this question. Is there a problematic, conflicting and agonistic opposition between the inner space and the outer space? Is interiority/exteriority still a valuable apposition or is it outdated, now that heteronomy (1) has been acknowledged as taking part in the creative process, and the link between emotion and reason has been established by neurologists like António Damásio (2) ? The work of Ana Pimentel seeks deeper and more fruitful undercurrents than those provided by this simple oppositi.

“ Connections On a Wide Open Space “ ( I and II ) and “ Com Ligação à Internet / Connected to the Internet “ oppose to “ Diário Íntimo / Intimate Journal “ and “ Percursos Solitários / Solitary Routes “ ( I,II,III ). The technical commitment is similar, with the use of collage techniques of striking x-ray proofs, the loose gestuality of scribbles and dotting, the interchange of reds, greys and blacks, and the demarcation of areas, common traces that all pieces share. Nevertheless, these spaces, now in their condition of being “ wide “ and “ open “, appear more frantic, or, more simply, vastness is revealed in a multiplicity of spaces and areas of intensity. The idea of a connection to the Internet plays upon the very idea of connecting; in fact, eight x-ray proofs are here interconnected: an intensifying focus over structures that partially reveal themselves, suggesting unfamiliar signs of life, but also blending them in this specific point of intersection. Here, technology cohabits peacefully with a human body brimming with ramifications, links sometimes lost and found inside consciousness, now paralleled to hose technical structures that man builds around himself to communicate with his equals, transmitting data and meanings.The four remaining paintings are more restrained and introspective. In the same way as the others, they are crossed by lines or strings sometimes covered in paint, which makes them look like veins or electric wires. They are complex, and suggest various areas of interest to the viewer. All the paintings have big sizes. The smallest of them form the three different stages of “ Percursos Solitários / Solitary Routes “ ( 100x81cm ), and that makes them the most intimate, from a formal point of view. They indicate a course a progress and present an identical structure. In a different fashion. “ Diário Íntimo / Intimate Journal “ is enormous, and overwhelms the viewer in its profuse vastness. It is the only one of these paintings to contain scribbles, personal inscriptions with meanings that intimately inveigle the viewer, while escaping him: a usual consequence of every exposure of intimacy.

The question posed above, related to the problematic opposition of interiority and exteriority, is resolved in a more direct way by the installations put forward by Ana Pimentel: “ 10 Lugares Sentados / 10 Seating Places “ and “ Pintado de Fresco / Wet Paint “ . Both works deal with an object materially and imaginally reproduced from a seat, a chair or a bench. More playful than the paintings, though both have, thematically, a more concrete and humanist approach, these installations reach the viewer in a more unconventional, but no less captivating, way. They reflect their possible presence (as they do, in the most direct way, trough a mirror, in “ Wet Paint “ ) through an invitation to the body as specific as that of a chair could be. The pictorial surface is freed from dramatization by the presentation of the drawings in racks ( “ 10 Seating Places “ ), and thus the themes are developed inside a broader definition of the image, not restricted to an exclusively pictorial point of view. The viewer is warned and invited to take the canvases as palimpsests or parchments, scars or abstract spaces in cybernetic or even telephone networks. What matters in them is their structure, their suggestion of interweaving connections, more than that of opposing mental and physical spaces.

The mental aspect goes along with the physical in any given relationship with space. Thus, “Wet Paint “is almost a title that elicits a performance from the viewer, who is supposed to carefully approach the work to avoid besmearing himself. But, on a second thought, he can also quicken his best attention before such an expressive painting, which is after all a chair, brought from the artist’s studio and placed upon a mirror. The mirror reveals a text on the subject of art, placed behind the seat. “The perception of a work of art is not a personal experience, but should rather have a universal character “,the text asserts, thus contradicting the intimacy of such a personal object as the artist’s own chair and the viewer’s own image in the mirror. Nevertheless, more than a contradiction, an explanation is needed to justify our own image and the intimacy referred by the artist. The key to this question would be the superficiality of the image ( in a positive way, it’s understood ), its lack of projection potential: the image merely is, it is there, in its whole intimate quality, fully exposed. So, this is not about everyone’s life, but about the life, respiration and pulsation of the image itself. Also questioned is the place of singularity inside the general space of communication networks between people, and inside the body it inhabits, and by which it is inhabited, and also the way it moves between spaces.

(1) The artist added to the project presented to Casa da Cerca a text by Mário de Sá-Carneiro, a poet close to Fernando Pessoa, also interested in the notion of identity. The last sentence is related with this question: « Who knows if I haven’t been your solul? »
(2) In his latest publication “ Self-awareness, Body, Emotion, and the Neurobiology of Consciousness “, António Damásio dwells in innovative theories and experiments describing the contribution of emotion to the regulative organic processes, from simple affection to the complex performances of reason.

Palácio das Artes de BH / Fundação Clovis Salgado Brazil

.10 Lugares Sentados ( series) 2000- Installation / drawing on K-Line - 100x70cm

Diário Íntimo - 1999  mixed media on Canvas - 200x200cm