Marcia Thompson

Marcia Thompson’s residual artworks

The visual arts in Brazil are going through one of its biggest periods of silence. Partly because Brazilian artists and curators educated themselves with the mannerism of being accepted into the international scene and with that a corridor of mimesis was created in the direction of Conceptual Art and Minimalism..

To some extent, because the art critics either rejects Brazilian artists who copy international renowned artists, or likewise, to a group of artists who follows international market trends, and therefore, lose the capacity to establish a theoretical path to maximise what some Brazilian artists like Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, the Campos brothers, Luis Sacilotto and recently Cildo Meireles and Adriana Varejão have been creating in Brazilian art: the inclusion in the international art scene, adding relevance to the crucial development of art as language..

Marcia Thompson’s work is a case of subtlety inside many questions hidden behind or not widely covered in the horizon of the contemporary painting. What she makes is not concrete, minimalist, graphic, sculptural, pictorial, let alone object or imaterial painting (which as a trend of the death of painting, endorses the conceptualism through the exhaustion of painting)..

Pieces like the cube "Untitled" (15x15x15cm) could relate to the paintings of Fabio Miguez, just as her mini reams of paper and drawings with saturated straight lines could remind us of Mira Schendel. What Concrete Art discussed on a level of concrete reality belonged still to the planar space before the nanometric dimension and in Marcia Thompson’s context it is already, in terms of materiality, a residue intuitively exposed which aims for the nanometric space registers..

Being one of the most perfect technologies, painting still has a place in the digital era..

The body of works, allegedly harmless, displayed at Janaína Torres Gallery, reveals this characteristic which is the labour of an artist whose greater perspicacity was to have confronted the art of minimising painting, transforming simplification in accumulation. I say that because Modern painting wanted to reduce painting to its syntactical elements. And Contemporary Art can simplify art but it deals inevitably with the accumulation and associativity instead of the original creativity..

This accumulation is where the answer of Brazilian art in the contemporary scene is. However, decades ago, withstanding the approximation of Brazilian and international art, there were the bad analogies from the critics, which took away the legitimacy of the artists who delivered enormous contributions to art..

Examples? Has someone already made a superficial analogy between Bridget Riley and Luís Sacilotto or between Rothko and Ianelli or some stains of Barrio and Tàpies? What really distinguishes a Tobey from a Pollock? This is a point to reflect..

As indeed Luisa Duarte very clearly defined, Thompson’s paintings are in the "zero degree of painting"..

One may wonder when the Brazilian art critics and their powerful curators will become aware of their own zero degree of critic and perceive the direction of Brazilian art beyond institutional and inter-marketing schemes with limited input..

And like these, many other considerations require more than artificial analogies to put the Brazilian production in the rightful visual intelligence threshold..

The subject of Marcia Thompson’s exhibition at Janaína Torres Gallery in São Paulo opens the gap for this argument because the imprecise Babel of her artworks is impregnated with a Brazilian contribution, which since it is painting, starts with Iberê Camargo’s oil bars. Marcia, as a contemporary of Casa 7, chooses the flat surface, restructures ideas of the line by accumulation and reassembles the crushed body of the painting to everything that the Minimalism, son of Modern Art, seemed to had consumed with Richard Serra..

Likewise the colourless accumulation in Thompson’s artwork, from the epistemological point of view, is the same accumulation featured in the works of Paulo Bruscky. And, at the same time, without embracing the chaos, she finishes the work outside the work, differently to Tunga and Nuno Ramos, who bet in a hyper-accumulation without depuration..

The depuration of the Minimalism and the Concretism of straight lines is maybe the most interesting thing in this artist’s work, who finds paths not new but which points out to a new direction in abstract painting. Marcia indicates the end of pure abstraction, which is the example of Fabio Miguez and Paulo Monteiro, but with a subtlety of a type of feminine perception, that is sculpture when she draws, architecture when she sculpts, and sculpture when she paints..

It is a work that demands we put aside the semi-critic view point on Brazilian Art and make an effort to really create new values about making and collecting..

Here a notion of school in art: Marcia Thompson belongs to this group of artists - the ones who disclose a new tradition after the Neoconcretism..

Her paintings predict, more than innovate, the meaning that it is important to respect the connection and the whole cycle of what Brazilian Art have been discussing for decades, until new phenomenons appear, without the dependence of critical submission and mannerisms of the so called vanguards that hide what is important at heart: the art and the breakthrough that it creates slowly during centuries through the artists who work earnestly in their vocation, without fear of looking like a basic artist from any place and time..

Because in Contemporary Art, as well as in the art of any era, opening new paths is just as important as deepening the ones which are already there.

Saulo di Tarso

São Paulo, 2017