Notes on and from Kopie
There is no criterion by which to recognise what is a colour, except that it is one of our colours.1
Towards the end of 2019, Luís Paulo Costa decided to leave, for the frst time, his usual work context; his two studios in Abrantes and Lisbon–opting to work for a certain period of time in a context that is not only geographically distant, as well as culturally alienated from his usual range of referencies.
Similar to what happens with many of his works and, in part, with the set of concerns that shape his practice, he placed himself under the effect of this physical displacement in order to be able to test the qualities of what in that new context could infuence his spirit, which could produce a strong impression on him, in the end try to identify the possible impetus that a certain set of new visual experiences could produce on his work.
Through a methodology based on empirical experience and observation and assumingfânerie–walking as an act that promotes a particular state of attention–Luís detects, collects and records for himself a set of visual notes that we would call image-thoughts.
Shapes, lights, objects, but above all colours, or rather, tonal variations. The tones of the Vienna buildings, the tones of the Vienna sky, the tones of the shop windows in Vienna, the tones of the Vienna postcards, the tones of the household objects in Vienna, the tones of some paintings he saw in Vienna, but also the memory of the tones of the trees in his garden in Abrantes, or the tones of a decorative element of a coffee shop in Lisbon, or of a particular orange in his garden that alludes to another orange by a Vienna painter.
The colours and tones of things they are too, drawing us closer to Wittgenstein, his (our) tones and his (our) colours.
Armed with these image-thoughts and supported by his visual library (a rich and voluminous image bank that he produces, collects and preserves) he defnes the set of premises that may give rise to a new pictorial project.
Let us stop a little more in this visual library to underline that what matters to the artist are not the subjects, nor the aesthetic qualities or the rigor of the framing of these images, the social, cultural, political or economic contexts that may have given rise to them are not relevant to him, or even the quality or sharpness of certain views or the likelihood condition that they can possess.
Their plastic characteristics are the determining factor, the pictorial potential that they manage to reveal, or better, what in their nature can be considered by the artist as the pregnant territory for the identifcation of a certain pictorial problem whose resolution requires, for this very reason, the elaboration of a new image, hence inscribed in the feld of Painting.
The exhibition Kopie brings together a wide range of works of different confgurations, almost entirely elaborated in the studio in Vienna.
Our proposal is to understand the exhibition as a great work, or perhaps as a great installation (not forgetting the fragmentary character of its parts that are assumed to be both autonomous and constituent of the whole).
Despite using the term installation, we go a little further and we intend to insist on the possibility of being able to be before a great painting, composed by several elements of pictorial character, even when their media brings them closer to objects that we guess of a different nature or whose formal confguration escapes the traditional orthogonal crated canvas.
Even though heteroclite and, in cases, dissonant in their manifest intentions, with the set of works distributed in the Krinzinger Projekte's rooms, Luís Paulo Costa draws our attention, still and always, to the disciplinary domain of Painting and its phenomenological problems: from the time of its doing to the time of its enjoyment, from the inevitably present space it occupies to the inevitably implicit space it represents, from its elementary condition in the real to its artful dimension of projection out of the real, in the way it uses the image to the way it constitutes itself as an image, and invariably and always in how much its practice can reveal the cognitive apparatus that gave rise to it.
Practicing Painting to get to know it better. Practicing Painting to get to know yourself better.
1 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on colour.
Press release courtest Galerie Krinzinger. Text: Ana Anacleto.