Curated by Manuel Neves
Xippas Montevideo is pleased to present Vislumbrar extático (Ecstatic Sight), an exhibition of Uruguayan artist Rita Fischer, featuring the most recent of her work. Curated by Manuel Neves, the show is dedicated especially to her painting body of work.
“Throughout a whole decade, this artist formalized experiences in an uncertain space for representation, aimed at abstraction, that is to say, ambiguity and conundrum, which represent the most basic meaning of that word. As well, though without clearly distinguishing between what is figurative and what is abstract, she evidenced a subtle relation with the landscape and with nature.
This new series includes the traditional technique of egg tempera on wooden sheets, where color pigments are dissolved in egg yolk, used as a perfect binder medium due to its balanced fat and water content. Although tempera is usually associated with the Byzantine world, the Middle Age and the Renaissance, it has been used in art, along with encaustic, since the times of Ancient Egypt.
The stiffness of the wood and the lack of shine in this technique convey a sense of stability and solidity. Also, the word TEMPLE (Spanish term for both Tempera and Mettle) recalls, in this artist’s meaningful narrative, a sense of moderation and constancy, for it originates in the Italian expression pittura a tempera (temple painting), which in turn comes from the Latin word temperare, defined as: mescolare nelle giuste proporzioni, which means to mix in the exact and adequate proportion.
In relation to previous pieces, the palette applied implies an increased variety of tones and chromatic complexity, and it is used to represent elements from nature like plants, branches, leaves or tree barks. Such figurative detail could relate to a renewed approach to the landscape tradition, even when the basic components of the gender, horizon and perspective, are not included.
This is how the artist deepens her inquiries on the representation of nature, establishing a possible connection with some autochthonous vegetable typology, to be found in the color palette selected -including browns, greens, and shades of orange and terracotta-, and also in some figurative elements like thorns. Such features are suggestive of the shapes and overall aspect of the particular Acacia caven trees that make up the extremely thick, cloistered and dismal native forest of Uruguay’s countryside.
However, and far from an actually realistic search, these representations, or signs, do not imply a comprehensive portrayal of such forests, and the feeling of symbiosis that we might experiment in the presence of nature does not seem to be accomplished. On the contrary, the signs are connected to and supplement purely abstract elements, like the large colored spots and planes that occupy a significant space in all these pieces. The image built by the artist with an extremely semantic ambiguity generates a context of uncertainty, puzzlement, and desire.
But also, as we stop and lay our eyes on the inscrutable and unstable sceneries, plentiful of conflicts and tensions, we slowly start to experience a feeling of being witnesses to an epiphany that reveals a particular beauty. Rita Fischer is inhabited by the idea that artists generate situations unknown to them, as they build images that are the yearning, and yet the denial, of a presence, thus generating permanently latent events, suspended in time.”