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Teresa Poester


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THE DRAWING

For a long time I have asked myself why I still draw and paint in a time when there is such diversity of resources, in a time when most artists have left the two dimensional surface to conquer other spaces.

If it is the needs of an era that define its forms of expression, then, even if drawing and painting have been part of the ancestral development of man, we cannot assert that they will remain eternal. Painting is no longer the only way to create images. What is then its specific role in the world today?

The dissertation Frontiers of Landscape: Windows and Grids, a product of my studies in recent years, seeks to answer this question.

Drawing and painting speak through the body. At a time when handwriting can be replaced by the computer, these activities acquire a function that surpasses their aesthetic character. Their significance increases in daily life, in studios with children and amateurs, in therapeutic and educational work. In this sense, the Fine Arts, now a specific category of the Visual Arts, correspond to corporeal activities that are increasingly more necessary in a world where the body is being progressively excluded from work and from knowledge processes .

The exercise of drawing and painting is crucial because it generates sensations and thoughts that are born out of the closest relations between body and mind. Manual creation humanizes the being and the contact of the hands humanizes the insensitive object. I believe it is thanks to the body, which is their vehicle and destination, that painting and drawing will survive. (1. Focillon, Henry, Eloge à la main, em Vies des formes, Quadrige /Puf, Paris, 1996. p 111.)

Landscapes, windows and grids correspond to three periods of my work, on a journey that starts with painting and goes on to reencounter drawing. There is a parallel between personal process and the history of art. The landscape provides the beginning of abstraction exactly when gesture becomes the protagonist. The windows, as frames for landscapes, mark the discovery of the surface of the picture as an autonomous object. With the repetition of these windows, the composition, divided into perpendicular segments, originates a structure of grids, which characterizes the subsequent period. It is the geometry of the grids that organizes the informal treatment of the painting, allowing the blending between line and stain.

As the work privileges gesture, so stain and color become accessories that are gradually dismissed. I return to drawing and to the black-lead pencils that marked the beginning of my journey.

The grids become close wefts that seem to imprison rather than liberate . It is the anguish of this imprisonment that makes me return to observation and to drawing the gardens that I saw everyday from the window where I wrote my dissertation, in Eragny sur Epte, France.

The straight strokes, vertical and horizontal, which originated from the previous movement, and looked like a struggle against the paper, are now replaced by organic lines that show a circular dance of the wrist and the arm.

The line, as the journey of a point in space and time, constitutes the most faithful record of movement. The gesture translates itself better through the line than through the stain. I try to distill the drawing to translate the gesture more effectively.

Teresa Poester, Porto Alegre, 2004