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In Tenui Labor



Manifesting an old ideal of short, concise and refined work, Virgil's expression that gives name to the show points to two fundamental characteristics found in the paintings of Sueli Espicalquis: the formal synthesis and the illusorily modest reflection that painting requires for this operation to be performed. Constant preoccupation in her work process, Sueli gradually conquered a subtle pictorial invoice, linking colour to the dense materiality of oil paint with variations given by the mixture of beeswax and solvents, which allowed her to build ever more delicate and unpredictable reliefs.

The image resulting from the accumulation of juxtaposed coloured matter in contrast to finer planes of paint evokes, by analogy, an aerial landscape, from "imaginary" cities constructed from graphical visual principles of maps and urban guides. In the form of painting, this thinking gains a sensitive body: densities, accidents and empty spaces indicate other ways that diverging from the almost precise sense to a programmed destination in our current applications, still make us find a place.


We can find in the "small subjects" of our daily lives reasons for stories that, to our surprise, can have a more glorious ending. And for this to happen, we need to dwell on these "subjects" in order to learn to look at them because "seeing is an operation that requires an effort," as Matisse said a long time ago. But comments are almost always insufficient to address such an issue. They are mainly opposed to the concrete experience of seeing paintings, such as Sueli's, because I believe that, in addition to learning to see, it is much more laborious and delicate for an artist to also "make others see".


Eurico Lopes

Text from the exhibition in tenui labour, Espaço Cultural TRT-Campinas-SP, 2016