Itineraries, 2016/2017

This exhibition presented the creative and pictorial processes of the artist throughout her life, revealing her focus on painting in almost five decades working with art. The more than 50 works showed its layers, brushstrokes, the materiality of her process, and her incredible interest in Art History, based on her travels. The exhibition was held at the Rio Grande do Sul Art Museum Ado Malagoli - MARGS, in 3 galleries of the Museum such as João Fahrion, ngelo Guido and the Pedro Weingärtner, from November 23, 2016 to January 15, 2017. The art curator was Francisco Dalcol who also organized the book with the same name, recording Lenora's trajectory in the world and in her production in the arts.

ITINERÁRIOS: Lenora Rosenfield

By Francisco Dalcol

Immersion in the process of painting can take artists down unexpected paths. In these forays, many seek a point in which to anchor their work and develop it from there. Others, such as Lenora Rosenfield, choose to keep on looking for new places guided by the current demands of their work. That is, they take their work on different paths revealed by an intense dive into the unknown.

At the many occasions in which she emigrated from Brazil to study, research and work in educational centres and universities in Italy (Udine and Florence) and in the United States (New York and Cambridge), Lenora Rosenfield was interested in some question decisively posed by her work at the time. She was always driven by the impulse of knowing what simple observation failed to totally reveal.

Hence the fact that each new quest took on the character of an almost vital necessity to unravel some aspect of the invisible universe of painting, only tangible to those who are dedicated to investigating in depth its materials, techniques and expressive forms. In the way Lenora follows her own path, practice takes place in consonance with her great interest in new discoveries, usages and transformation of materials throughout the history of art. An operation that, in itself, makes the old, the modern and the contemporary seem to enter a state of synchronicity as her artistic work is materialised in the here and now.

In Lenora’s work, making and being in the world complement each other and are inseparably amalgamated. Her interests are based on the materiality of painting, but not without invoking the sedimented layers inside the psychology of the poetic and creative act. These processes of displacement between inside and outside involve the body itself as part of the gesture of painting, and borrow its movement and shapes in the struggle between its scale and the planarity of painting.

In her figurative themes, expressionist gestures and abstractionism, Lenora finds expressivity in her painting by moving in an empirical and inductive way in her research of materials, supports and techniques. She seeks to understand their properties and characteristics in order to draw visual and conceptual strength from them.

Linking the practice of drawing and painting to a profound knowledge of the fresco technique and to her experience as a conservator and professor at UFRGS, Lenora uses all her facets in the development of a very personal technique she called “synthetic fresco,” a combination of wet lime plaster and pigments on synthetic felt. She also explores this nonwoven fabric as a painting support by investigating the possibilities of egg tempera as an element that integrates the creation process of the recent Planisfério series.

Presented in three rooms of the Art Museum of Rio Grande do Sul (MARGS), the exhibition Itinerários focuses on the diversity of a nearly five-decades-long career, presenting a selection of paintings that situate some of the most important phases of Lenora’s trajectory. However, the retrospective is not presented in a linear or chronological way.

In pointing out some possible dialogues between works elaborated in different places and times, Itinerários is guided by a sense of prospection: it seeks to recognise in the works and in their articulation in the exhibition space indications of the paths taken by Lenora in her painting, an oeuvre that is developed as it unfolds. In the exhibition, these itineraries propose that visitors regard Lenora’s works as an experience driven by the realisation that the act of painting involves a surprising and infinite unveiling of very deep layers.

Francisco Dalcol
*Curatorial text for the exhibition ITINERÁRIOS: Lenora Rosenfield, held at the Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul (MARGS), in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from November 22, 2016, to January 15, 2017.