First of all, let’s take these main points: this is an exhibition about light and also humor is something liquid; both of them – light and humor – affect us, and because of that they also affect our perception of things and reality. If we intuitively associate humor with a state of mind, for the Greeks, etymologically speaking, the concept was used in reference to a set of internal liquids from our bodies that are themselves affected and shift our organic condition inside. This determines a temper and at the same time our behavior, our availability to the world and so the relationship we establish with it.

The most interesting thing here is the awareness of Isabel Simões (1981, PT) on these relationships and the use that she makes of them in her painting. The light offers to the images she paints a specific condition – also intrinsic – to change not only our perception of the shown reality but also that reality itself. In her works it is usual to recognize certain elements that are familiar to the real experience. But above any conceptual or symbolic determination, those elements on the paintings are mainly serving the light and working with it in order to modify and to amplify the image and the experience and so our humors and willingness to be affected by them.

From the four paintings of “Meteorologia” (Meteorology) what jumps out is the formal composition that crosses them, the same framework, the same place, but also a different environment between one and the other. It is the state of the light affecting the objects and the architecture, and the body, influencing the readings. And all of this is underlined by the expression of the set of works: it is more evident because of the sequence and proximity between them. On the other hand, “Eclipse” shows how the function of light overlaps other formal questions related to the representation of a certain element; in this case, of a certain architecture. Which is even more evident in “Contorno do Ar” (Air Contour), where the dematerialization of the object is carried to the extreme, raised to the abstract condition and where the light is the only power, the only force on the disclosure. Just like in “Ecrãs” (Screens), which are absolutly dependent on the light beam that finally offers them the elementary shadows and the contours.

If there is something fundamental in this exhibition by Isabel Simões, beyond the painting, it is the amplitude of the results, the fact that everything is left open to the affection system. All of these works promote that space, they bring the light and bring to light their content in the very same condition of the fluidity of the body that observes them.

Maria Joana Vilela

  • Isabel Simões