There is a horizon materialized in a line of paraffin reliefs. A horizon in movement above and below the dark earth and sky, and in rhythm. Such mimesis may seem precarious, but it’s the appropriation of the “image” to which a work of art is condemned. Representation, in this case, does not inhabit the work, but the associative subjectivity. Let’s forget the landscape, let’s think of the line. The dark areas oscillate above and below, being always the same. Pay attention to how the line varies. If it was a horizon, it would be a partiture. Many forget that Romanticism had practically erased rhythm from Western music, restored by the African presence and the contact with music from other cultures. Brazilians are used to this, they didn’t need the jazz, but to make a horizon dance is a plastic discovery: above, below, a little above, sometimes quite below, higher above, not missing the beat.
And what is the line? It’s the clef, the key. They are there, quite clear, in the reliefs that many would associate to mountains in the landscape, however, it’s above all a three-dimensional drawing. Yes, the relief is in the line, or, better saying, the line is in the relief. It’s the delicate trace that rises up and acquires volume, clear, the material’s color – paraffin – and is opposed to the black painting of asphalt. This one fills the whole surface, and only leaves the traces of its passage over the paper with its diluents. It’s not easy to formulate cohesive and significant plastic phrases; to articulate visual elements in their full gratuity so that they carry the exact measure of expression and constriction – almost a sacrifice – in order to activate precise meanings.
The music written there could be played by an equivalent intelligence and there would be so many possible sound expressions, but all of them with the delicate generosity of the outlined horizon. Darkness is the rumor of the world, its constant and unsettling presence; it’s painting that takes the world above and below the line. It’s near silence and absence. As the conductor would say: not too strong or too fast. It has the exact tempo for any careful regard.
Painting, at times falling, suddenly rises up, but nevertheless it always bumps into paraffin. It’s the opacity of asphalt, that the artist controls since her drawings of many decades ago, that finds an obstacle, a limit not surmounted as if giving into the seduction of the most minimum ridge of mountains. A wise obedience obliging her to a complete submission to paper, her cradle. And above the world and under the dark skies, the line, the drawing not contained in the trace and that rises up. It’s discreet and fragile. You must see. The relief is disguised in the surface in order to almost adhere to the painting. But it extends itself; it forces a panorama because it continues uninterruptedly through all the beats of the visual phrase. Fruition is invited to a small walk, not only to the usual advancement and retreat, but to a small walk to appreciate the rhythms and durations discreetly inserted in the ups and downs of the wax and ostensively present in the dark areas.
Germana Monte-Mór’s work is affirmative and filled with a different breath, a swimmer’s breath, with rhythm, different from the apnea of the diver, demanded by the large areas skillfully asphalted that cover our own anguishes in order to control them, by projecting them onto the world in the large paintings on paper and by covering them with the welcoming mantle of the identification with our own sadness. Holding our breath we dive into the large drawings. Not here. The affirmation of the drawing organized by the paraffin relief, its rhythm and beats, its secretly played happiness, goes againstthe monumentality that spreads the black color through large surfaces in which all gestures are almost erased such is the strength of its opacity. Here we simply swim; we do not need to hold our breath.
In the large paintings on paper the organization of a cohesive totality from autonomous elements is still present in this gathering of works by Germana Monte-Mór; it’s part of her methodology, which experiments an intense contraction in the act of impregnating the black color of the asphalt onto the paper. At the same time, its extension delimits the borders where the pigment can’t reach and is surrounded by turpentine that wants to go further and marks the support as if the vehicle, in itself, could with its tone make evident the surface that slightly impregnates and eclipses the whiteness of the paper. In a very unique way, everything is organized so that nothing could be given away as something already made, not even the support’s surface, tinted by the pigment’s vehicle, even when the pigment is not present.
As if the ready-made were in a state of absolute blindness, a blindness no blind person has or experiences, and worse, something that not even the touch, the taste or the hearing could reach. The artist doesn’t want ready dishes, not even in the most minimum details. Something ready, as it already is in the world and didn’t need eyes to see; the blind see better than those with crude eyes; it’s these horrible limits that foreseers can’t see that we must realize. Something for the senses. That’s it: to turn real something that didn’t exist before. For this, with Germana Monte-Mór, everything would be subtly elaborated, with no chromatic pomp, no carnavalesque festivity; and both the eloquence of the anguish of the large black mantles and the subtle happiness that parades in the paraffin line throughout the partiture get together to gather us, ourselves, so much separate inside. We are this discreet happiness and a huge sadness. Now, all together, in a great party where there is nothing to celebrate.
New drawings come up: powerful, eloquent, in a direct scale facing the body. They do not betray the process of the work nor do they become evasive. But they bring, by opposition, something new. On the surface there is a noble material, the traces are in Carrara marble, the lines are sculptural volumes that invade the painting and the drawings. Nobles traces stating – I believe – that there are no limits between sculpture, drawing and painting. Such demonstrated possibility of everything being together in a single work is not new. Germana Monte-Mór’s contribution is this low tonus we still haven’t experienced, even when the volume is materialized on the surface. Germana’s cantatas hardly admit tenors, grave tones predominate. Sometimes a contralto tries to scream, but suffers. Such suffering of the voice in colors, contrasts and spaces, great colors in unison, is the choral party of this art.