November 24, 2016 – January 22, 2017
Museu Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva, Lisbon – Portugal
Filipe Rocha da Silva, Director of SACI’s MFA in Studio Art Program, will exhibit in Lisbon, Portugal, beginning this Thursday, November 24th at the Museu Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva. The exhibition will be on view through January 22, 2017.
Historian and SACI President Emeritus, Mary Beckinsale writes about Filipe’s work:
“I have just read a book written by David Hockney and Martin Gayford, called A History of Pictures. Beautifully and deceptively simple, this highly intelligent work traces the history of western art’s obsession with naturalism, leading to photography and the contemporary debate of ‘what is real?’.
“Filipe Rocha da Silva is an intellectual and thoughtful artist who has long interacted with this tradition, preferring the playful and irreverent games of mannerism to the solemnity of realistic classical works.
“He has always been aware of the wider audience of humanity, talking to us through nano figures that have now become embroidery stitches. He has tried to combat the loneliness and elitism of the individual artist by attempting to talk to or engage a larger or global audience.
“Why I have linked his work to the Hockney/Gayford book is because inside this publication are some simple practitioners messages that are key to observing any artist’s work.
“Over time Filipe has stopped referencing iconic works directly, and has instead simplified down to basic forms of colors and marks. Here, the conscious use of textiles and stitching stresses the fact that the mark and it’s making is the message. In a digital global age the return to a factory of assistant sewers is a conscious, capricious choice of defiance. Hockney points out that artist’s styles get looser with time and experience. This is exactly what Filipe has done. He has moved his marks and forms into a depth of abstraction and simplification that calls to mind the great last painterly works of Monet. The apparent simplicity of the master hides the extraordinary sophistication of his colors, marks and ideas.
“I find one of the things Filipe said extremely helpful to understanding his development.He said ‘What I tried to do was humanize pointillist paintings.’ What he succeeded in doing was taking the pointillist tradition, in his case nanoism, into an abstraction that could be available and understood by a general or global public. This method of using a sewing ‘factory’ to create the colors and forms of his ideas goes beyond Alghiero Boetti, by developing a pictorial,painterly language that flows from a long tradition of iconic western art, with which Filipe has continuously interacted but with which he has always managed to maintain his ‘radical freedom.’
“These beautiful ‘wool drawings’ that combine the simplicity of Portuguese folk art with a combination of a profound analysis of western art, are masterpieces of extreme aesthetic sophistication and appealing beauty.” – Mary Beckinsale, Florence, November 2016