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  • ‘Colour Games’
    05 JUL - 14 AUG 2007

    Appleton Square, Lisboa

    For much of the past decade, João Paulo Feliciano (b. Caldas da Rainha, 1963) has been interested in rehabilitating colour and exploring a sense of play in his work. Feliciano sees colour as a powerful carrier of sensations and emotions, which are simultaneously very personal and universal.

    This exhibition, comprised of two series (titled “˜Tape Paintings‘ and “˜A Momentary Lapse in Colour’ respectively), stands as an example of the artist’s interest in understanding how certain combinations can be almost visceral, assaulting the eye, whereas others can engage the viewer in pleasurable patterns of rhyme and rhythm.

    In the series generically titled “˜Tape Paintings‘, Feliciano takes the canvas – a privileged space of the image and container for the expression of the artist’s hand – and uses it as a support for bands of coloured, commercial tape, which he stretches across the taught, flat surface of the bare canvas; a gesture by which he chooses to ignore the relations of figure-ground that dominate pictorial representation and the idea of artistic expression, which the canvas on its own encapsulates. These alternating, repeated horizontal bands of juxtaposed colour provide a restless, shifting surface that opens itself to the formless, to the undefined, to an expanding field of colour abstraction. Rather than subordinate colour to figure, rather than contain colour, within this series, Feliciano seems more interested in the optical potential of chromatics, the disruptions created by colour and the inherent instability of colour itself, which is not only determined by our physiognomy (a single amino acid in our genetic makeup determines how we see colour), but by light, in other words, how objects and materials absorb and reflect light.

    Retrospectively, in his work with colour and light, Feliciano pays special attention to process, working on how different colour combinations are generated. In some cases, he makes use of time-based processes, where colour (light) is programmed (using dedicated hardware and software) to explore evolving patterns and rhythms – as in the works “Glow Wow’, 2004, or “˜White Cube/Colour Cube’ (*), 1999-2007.

    In the second series on view, titled “˜A Momentary Lapse in Colour’, Feliciano adopts this attitude of processing to convert a time-based colour composition into a spatial composition. The perfectly organized 15 x 15 colour samples presented in each digital print are video-stills from the light-sculpture “˜White Cube/Colour Cube’. Filmed on video, the images have been digitized to computer and converted – using the filmstrip format – into a sequenced grid of “frozen” colour samples. As with his “˜Tape Paintings‘, Feliciano evokes perceptual multiplicity: the perception of colour as non-uniform, unstable and multiple across perceivers, and compulsively tests colour relations, intensities and their capacity to stimulate and invigorate viewers.