José Bechara

Adolfo Montejo Navas

Lapiz – Revista Internacional de Arte, no. 249
January 2009



Galleries are not usually taken as studios or test fields in which to show a work-in-progress. That is quite a challenge, and, as such, it requires the dealer´s complicity. The José Bechara (Rio de Janeiro, 1957) exhibition is actually just that, a presentation of works in progress and aesthetic proposals that breathe a new air into his oeuvre. Particularly because the artist is inscribed in an artistic imagery characterized by working on rusty surfaces, using almost materials abstractions applied on unusual supports (lorry canvases, etc).

In view of the show, which is presented in two different venues, and, to a lesser extent, given the artist’s specific intervention at the Fundação Eva Klabin (also in Rio de Janeiro on the same dates), one could say that Bechara is in evolution, he is in the midst of an artistic transition. Here he revises the coordinates of his –initially pictorial- poetics, and sets his sights on new limits. In his sculptural installations, space now plays an essential role, as the protagonist that converses with the materials. The artist´s intervention at the Patio Herreriano in Valladolid also carried that power, that will to strike up a dialogue between space and common materiality (tables, chairs, windows, surfaces, fissures, hollows). The drawings in the other Rio gallery where the artist is showing his work propose another constructive solution, more hybrid and free.

The Lurixs show presents seemingly contradictory paths. Alongside two large paintings that modify the essential elements of the previous proposals, the artist reconsiders the forms and the process of chromatic rusting (with cobalt and cooper producing new shades). This is, also, object-based painting, which requires development beyond its surface. The piece Gelosia gathers –and summarises– several aspects: the space is conquered by two glass panes placed in a corner, with shades of rust with extreme constructive rigour and a grey painted rectangle as the chromatic emanation of the emptiness composed by the panes. In all, the horizon of the piece seems ready to unfold, although it already mirrors –and not just insinuates– its deep potential as a pictorial-sculptural hybrid.