Texts

What do you see?

by Fernanda Lopes
for the exhibition Su Casa. New York, October, 2015

In 1964, Frank Stella said of his paintings: “What you see is what you see.” The phrase exemplifies what is considered one of the principles of the minimalist movement. In Su Casa, Raul Mourão seems to revisit this statement, although not taking it as an affirmation but as a question: Is What you see what you see?

Over more than two decades of production, the work of Mourão has always been marked by a strong interest in the urban space, the public debate, the life that happens on the street, by chance, in any corner, at any time. In Su Casa that logic seems reversed, or reconfigured, taking into account other dimension of the space and, consequently, of perception. The exhibition bears some domestic scale, human. The space of the street shop transformed into an exhibition space is much closer to the living room of an ordinary..

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To see the visible

Eucanaã Ferraz, March 2015 | Version: Lis Horta Moriconi

In this exhibition, Raul Mourão once more devotes himself to the difficult marriage of construction and chance. Careful not to override each other, the entwined tensions engender through taut interplay solutions that reject judgements of decision or classification.

Thus, with such destabilizing interconnections, Mourão’s works convey familiarity with the principles of printmaking without however being defined by reproducibility. Mourão borrows procedures from monotyping, but his images do not emerge from the usual process of painting on the surface of what is often a sheet of glass, subsequently pressed against paper. It would be too little to say they share an affinity with stamps. Nor are they completely alien from the procedures of painting. Mourão’s work is not about choosing this or that surface, this or that material, or even this or that pigment…

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The mesh, the grid: the double

by Francisco Bosco for the exhibition MOTO, february, 2014

The engine that drives Raul Mourão’s oeuvre – beginning at a certain stage of formulation in which the obstinate character of questions denotes the consolidation of a gaze, a gesture, a singularity – is, in my understanding, a tension which could be described, within a chain of oppositions, as the one which exists between world and form, concrete and abstract, signified and signifier, heteronomy and autonomy. This tension generally starts out irreducible, non-synthesizable, under the guise of a double which establishes a presence/absence mechanism, and which the artist then unfolds into myriad possibilities, and tends to move towards the prevalence of the formal. At other times, as is the case with his widely known series on the former Brazilian president Lula (Luladepelúcia, Luladegeladeira, Luis Inácio Guevara da Silva), this tension resolves into works..

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Interview with Raul Mourão for the book MOV

Raul Mourão Studio
conversation via skype with Maria do Carmo Pontes (Londres) and Frederico Coelho (Rio de Janeiro)
October  2010

Maria do Carmo Pontes: Rosalind Krauss wrote a lovely text about the grid, in which she talks about the presence in the painting of the 20th century of the grid as an emblem of modernity. She refers only to painting, but I think that the concept is valid for other things as well.

Raul Mourão: I’m not familiar with this text. Does she mean the orthogonal mesh that is behind some paintings?

MCP: Yes. A grid can mask and reveal at the same time. To my mind, the sculptures in the Swing series are clearly derived from the Railings series. I see the Swings as Railings that are constantly in movement.

So, the inside and the outside are forever changing, each moment, and with each person, which..

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From iron to emotion

by Felipe Scovino
Porto Alegre, 2010

It was in September last year, during the Intrépida Trupe s rehearsals for Projeto:Coleções, that I first saw Raul Mourão s Balanços [Swings] series. Mourão was trying out the first experiments in his series (although he himself describes them as studies or a sequence of experiences, as if each sculpture were a project or a model for something “better” or bigger, I understood that it was precisely the challenging, inconstant and molecular properties of the sculpture, as transition, that would enable the artist to produce these highly-charged, exploratory, landmark works) using the dancers of the company as a laboratory. Seeing one of them stacking some sculptures, spacing them out, squeezing themselves into the hollowed out parts of Mourão s pieces, their rubber like bodies, fitting into and moving easily around that structure, which for me represented something rigid..

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In praise of instability (Prelude to a likely collision)

by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti

Art is what makes life more interesting than art…
Robert Filliou

 
 

Strolling around Raul Mourão s works feels a bit like wandering the streets: one can hear the voice of the city, feel its presence, touch its metal railings, its houses, its suffocated nature; admire its soccer, its carnivals and its artists; get to know its dogs, trees, politicians, and all its colors. The artist’s studio (very much like that of any artist, but especially Raul Mourão s) is where this city stops, and the encounters that take place there suggest that, perhaps, it is also a studio for the city. Deliberately random encounters, like that of the sewing machine and the umbrella on the dissection table, alongside an eyeball doing sit-ups.1 Raul Mourão s surrealism is almost indiscernible, masked by the impeccable finish of the works and the ironic seriousness..

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Open for balance

by Frederico Coelho, 2014

Since 2010 Raul Mourão has been working with kinetic sculptures. His research on materials and movements brought a new aesthetic route to his work. In a trajectory marked by the eclecticism of means and action fronts, Raul plunged in this universe and concentrated for a period of time in his swings. His last exhibitions explored the multiple possibilities in this relationship between the steel’s raw material and its lightness through subtle pendulum movements. If before his work could sometimes imprison the eye between bars, from the swings it started to invite the spectator to dance.

His new swings, made especially for this exhibition, show us how the themes and shapes of these sculptures keep expanding in a kind of infinite combinatorics analysis. The engineering of the balance becomes more and more diffuse and ludic. The shapes are free to break an appearance of countenance for a salutary..

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Floor, wall and people

by Frederico Coelho, 2010

I

The exhibition is opened and still. Step by step, you enter the hall and walk with the certitude that everything is in place. Your confident glance no longer looks for the ground when walking inside a gallery. You only have to face the works. And here they are. Solidly waiting. Still, firm, impavid, straight.

At the beginning, as if you were in an abandoned house, there is the fear of touching something that may break or the worry of inadvertently moving a piece of furniture. But from the moment when you touch one of the edges, the resting house will never stop again. For it is impossible to resist the temptation of triggering the graceful and lazy swing of these objects. To try a light weight and to grant movement to that which is inanimate. Raw steel is recovered by sensuality and its unexpected beauty is transformed into a swing, a welcoming and relaxed coming and going. In this..

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