Germana Monte-Mór
Germana Monte-Mór, untitled, 2020 Photos: João Liberato / Courtesy Galeria Estação

Germana Monte-Mór's first drawings — made in the late 1980s and early 1990s — looked like real bruises. The artist avoided the explicit presence of a work that ordered the asphalt over the paper surface. Everything happened as if an initial blow was followed by movements that were independent of her will. So her drawings also had the appearance of something made from the inside out.

As much as the material with which he drew had a rough and ostensible consistency, his treatment led more to a revelation of the capillarity of the paper than to the construction of figures that stabilize the area in which they appeared. The shapes we saw were the precarious configuration of a movement that tended to continue expansion.

Subsequently, his drawings acquired greater definition and incorporated areas of color. The asphalt areas thickened and began to differentiate, more intensely, from the other regions of the design. However, much of that formal instability remained, along with the counterpoint with the color regions and reliefs. The even more aggressive presence of the asphalt was accentuated by the irregularity of its contours, by the organic aspect of its configuration. With their inconstancy, they were not able to contain the mass they circumscribed. A kind of surface tension was then created, ready to give way. This movement was intensified in the drawings exhibited in 1998, since then, in the same work, there was also a relationship between black and luminous spots that, in a game of attraction, increased the expansion of the black areas.

The world that emerged in these drawings had a somewhat violent and traumatic constitution. And from the 2000s onwards, as happens in life, the joy of areas and reliefs of luminous colors was introduced. To show itself with force, the world needed to become immeasurable. The intensity of black surfaces came from the ability to go beyond their limits, rather than from saturation or extreme concentration. And the traumatic nature of the works resulted from this: to assert themselves, the black regions had to incessantly move beyond themselves and collide between the colored regions, putting on the horizon an identity that could never be achieved. I think this is also the reason for a kind of painful sensuality that permeates all of Germana Monte-Mór's drawings. The movement towards what is beyond us — the search for continuity with the other implied in eroticism — reveals itself as a condemnation to exile, as unrest and pain. Without ever losing your serenity.

Precisely because it is beyond us, because there the will does not reign, even if we promise each time not to knock on that door again. And now she comes here again. She kept her base experience and left enriched. Joy is also the proof of the nine. As the Levantine poet said, roughly translated by me: “It is not the water that passes / that quenches thirst / it is the one that is drunk / it is necessary to ascend to heaven / descend to hell / to meet a few I have the impression that I re-encounter of Germana with the work of Hans Arp brought in its baggage the criticism of its modern contemporaries with its Dadaist bias, which ironized the marked form that comes from Cézanne. I think that the skepticism of Germana's works with asphalt – very good by the way – when crossing with Arp, produces an unlikely tangency with our tradition, with Amilcar de Castro, about everything.

Furthermore, the vitalist, organic dimension of Germana Monte-Mór renewed the sculpture of Maria Martins or of Lygia Clark. Without the postmodernist mania of citing important moments in the history of art, the artist maintains a good-humored conversation with the modern tradition.

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