Continuity of the research begun with the series presented at the 29th São Paulo Biennial, the eight large and medium-sized paintings are created from photos and with enormous amounts of ink
In his current production, Rodrigo Andrade has taken up figuration as the motto of his works, which are developed around a game between fantasy and the unveiling of its mechanisms through the material and concrete dimension of painting. Eight unpublished works of this phase, all of 2011, can be seen in this exhibition.
Four large paintings (240 cm high and widths varying between 360 and 480 cm) occupy the exhibition space on the ground floor of the Gallery. Another four works, of medium size (120 x 180 cm), are on the mezzanine. The Old Stone Bridge painting at night, which gives name to the exhibition, part of an essentially picturesque and vulgar theme, linked to the tradition of the nineteenth century. The photographic images that served as the basis for this and two other works were obtained on a trip made by the artist to Scotland especially for this purpose. In addition to these three images, which are nocturnal, the exhibition includes, among others, the paintings Concrete Bridge over Creek at dusk and Bicycle (of suburban Brazilian daytime scenes) and Interior with game machines and mirror.
As in the Night Matter series, exhibited at the 29th São Paulo Biennial, the paintings were created from photos; unlike the previous exhibition, which explored nocturnal landscapes, the current show does not have a thematic unit or center. Although the continuity of the series exhibited at the Biennial is evident, the works presented at Millan are the result of a movement to expand the possibilities of this mode of painting. One of these possibilities is the use of color, which appears subtly in two of them.
The play between the illusion of the depth of figurative painting and the concrete materiality of the work, accentuated by the large quantities of paint, continues to exist in the works presented in the show. In this way, the artist invites the viewer to a double movement: to enter the virtual space of painting while breaking the pictorial illusion through the consciousness of the material dimension of the surface.
A fundamental aspect for the functioning of this mechanism is the dimension of the screens exhibited in the ground floor, which potentiates the physical relation of the public with the work. To make these four paintings, the artist used about 40 liters of paint on average in each of them, and the works weigh from 60 to 100 kilos. Rodrigo thus transfigures his two-dimensional images in mass, volume and texture.