Maria Joao Salema, ‘Trials #2’, 2013, IFAC Arts

It is particularly evident that Maria João Salema’s approach to painting is based upon an introspective activity centered in her studio. Her existence as an artist and that of her paintings live in a state of imperturbability, of suspension of time, as stated by Ruth Rosengarten: “it not only underlines the bewitching effect of repetition (of words, of sounds, of forms), but also, paradoxically, erases the very temporality – the linear movement of time – to which it alludes. In opposition to the time where there are tomorrows pitted against the yesterdays that have ‘lighted fools the way to dusty death,’ is the immersive time of meditation to which the artist’s activity in the studio is suggestively compared.”

Deep blue canvases emphasize the artist’s meditative activity. After openly subverting the soliloquy, Salema quietly defies the meaning of color. The large color fields, created through the use of glazes, acquire a vibrating surface on which quick sepia brushstrokes will allow one to perceive them as landscapes.

Maria João Salema graduated in painting from the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon, and completed a drawing course at AR.CO, Lisbon, where she later became an instructor. In 2005 João Salema was awarded a grant by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Maria João Salema has extensively exhibited and her work is represented at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Lisbon), Culturgest (Lisbon), and Colecção ECO (Marvão). Her work will be representing Portugal in the 2015 Mykonos Biennale in Greece.

Maria João Salema lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Signature: on verso