We learned about the paintings of Luis Coquenao (Lobito, Angola 1953) through his art gallery Mário Sequeria in Braga, Portugal with whom he has worked since the end of the nineties. Our attention was drawn to the manner he used to evoke nature (exterior and interior) through a fluid and transparent painting in the same way that happens when water colors wet paper generating forms more or less precise; through stains, gestures barely glimpsed, spaces, light. In the end the work shapes a landscape that is dreamt, imagined and evoked that contrasts with the artifice that comes from using colors (greens, magentas, reds) proper to design and print. The painting, like this, acts in favor of a movement that comes and goes. It constructs images that connect with those assimilated and recognized by the spectator at the same time that it highlights those qualities intrinsic to the actual painting.
The work of Luis Coquenao, his language, his feeling, his vision, connect with other artists of our gallery that might also have as their original references those artists that come from the sublime romanticism. You can see this in the expositions of Alberto Reguera or Rosa Brun. But Coquenao also connects with other Spanish artists from the abstract expressionism that is so frequently observed in our gallery. The dropping that is used in some of his works, that is so influential in the tension of the work, and in its representative deactivation, how often have we seen this in artists linked to the gallery like Manolo Millares or Gustavo Torner, artists like Coquenao who are especially sensitive to Asian Art as much as the North American school.
In the catalogue that has been edited for the exposition, the editor, critic and exposition commissary from Galicia David Barro, who is well versed in the Portuguese art panorama, comments that “Luis Coquenao understands painting as an act of time, extremely fragile. The image displays its own time and for the spectator no image is captured at the first glance. It plays with the borders of the vision and the fragments, with disorders, until it reaches an interesting state of “suspension” In a way, Coquenao´s landscapes are also consumed, eroded until they become definite, precisely when emptiness becomes an active entity. What is painted, in effect, is the distance that is delivered to us like a moving vision, that sometimes drips and other times it drains but in any case always abysses. Hence the accuracy of the title: Ink Landscapes.”
The distance the David Barro talks about reminds us of the words of Th. W. Adorno, a philosopher allied to Coquenao, author of the essential “Aesthetic Theory” and supporter of the idea of “autonomy of art”. For Adorno art proves to be more “social” the more it distances itself from society. And Coquenao seems to distance himself searching for other territories, less evident, more casual and random, trying, as Baudelaire says, “to extricate the eternity from the transitory”.
The exposition will be inaugurated next Thursday, 14the of September and concludes the 28th of October.