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07 Oct 2014

Nothing is Immutable at Leal Rios Foundation

Rui Sanches, O Rei e a Rainha, 1988;
Copyright © Leal Rios Foundation

Nothing is Immutable by Rui Sanches
Leal Rios Foundation


09 October 2014 at 10 p.m.
The exhibition will be open to the public from 09 October 2014, untill 31 January 2015.

João Biscainho

Leal Rios Foundation
Rua do Centro Cultural, 17-B
1700-106, Lisbon

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Considering the works by Rui Sanches present in the collection of the Leal Rios Foundation, and the pieces in the exhibition this institution now dedicates to the artist, it is important to note the thirty-year long career of a sculptor who, starting as a painter, is now devoted to three-dimensional work. A transition imposed on him by the research he was developing within the two-dimensional limits of painting. From an abstract and spatial painting he moved on to the construction of three-dimensional pieces—mainly in wood—in proposals where he shaped intimate dialogues between regular geometric structures of cubist and constructivist influence installed in the real space, creating dynamic links that embraced the idea of randomness and contingency. If the classical and baroque great masters were his initial source for inspiration, we must also note that Rui Sanches was never interested in exploring direct metalanguages with an emphasis on narrative, but rather in developing a predominantly abstract work, devoid of stories. A work focused on a new syntax of the structural elements, putting aside the conventional plane of meaning. He did—and still does—it by taking advantage of the multiplicity and of the fragment to point in the direction of unity as an hypothesis. An open concept that includes the possibility for mutations, and where the geometric goes hand in hand with the organic, as we can see in this exhibition.

Most of the works we can see here were produced throughout the artist's second phase, a period when his wood works are preferentially made in plywood or multi-laminated wood. His is a slow process of execution, one based on cutting each board and creating geometric shapes by vertical accretion, juxtaposing similar and dissimilar elements. The fragmented human form—a body without extremities or an anonymous, prototypical head—is also an object of the artist's investigation, who uses them to underline the possibility of symbolic and temporal relations happening both in the mind and in the inhabited space.

Drawing on paper, a practice also cultivated by Rui Sanches, can sometimes be the starting point in the process of creating a sculpture. This is not, however, a general rule. Often, drawing is the consequence of a sculpture, or manifests itself independently of the three-dimensional work. The two practices are complementary. Drawing, in the immediacy of its execution carries with it a spatiotemporal emphasis that includes the concepts of evolution and dissolution, calling into question the persistence of forms and our ability to perceptually embrace them in definitive ways. Quoting Nietzsche, from the Unpublished Writings from the Period of Unfashionable Observations, 'There is no form in nature, because there is no distinction between inner and outer. All art is based upon the mirror of the eyes.'

— Aurora García