Is the Earth still whole?
Cristina Ataíde sounds out the various dimensions of the alteration of matter. She does this by surrendering to forms through a profound awareness of time and space, embracing their rhythms, in a focused way and with a contained pictorial vocation that is projected, paradoxically, in works with a markedly sculptural presence. They are works based on transformation, able to poeticise time and its circumstances, but also to critically question our place in the world.
Cristina Ataíde’s works have elusive outlines. As though in a poem, the suggestion of enigma is kept in motion. For that reason, we could say that her work quivers with possibility. Drawing and sculpture push the pictorial to its limits, and the gaze becomes a kind of abyss that takes control of the experience. Cristina Ataíde has managed to define her own style and language as an inner need, linking forms that move between the topological and the psychological, able to contain the expanse and density of air, earth or water. Her drawings, in an unmistakeable red tone, are rooted in their tactile nature, which she achieves through her particular way of working with dry pigment; they appear to be dominated by a patina of wear, by the experience of time, as though summoning us to a sensory intimacy.
We have the same sensation when we reach the exhibition space in the Museu do Chiado, where some of our perceptions are eroded and become enveloped in a landscape that allows the matter to manifest itself by conceiving its own place, generating different levels of intimacy, that also lead to a language that blends with a colour that works, above all, as a form of pre-verbal writing. As spectators, we are positioned on the boundary of perception and the gaze, turned into observers of a kind of breathing in which each physical image is accompanied by a mental image, where each tiny detail acts as a trigger.
David Barro, exhibition curator