Expression of a feeling, expression of a memory. Revealing and communicating intimacy is a difficult thing to explain. Individual experiences translated into signs and color: it is a gesture that comes from seeing a place, hearing a sound, recognizing and permeating the tangibility of life. These are all things that come together when they have no choice but to come together and speak in unison.
The translation of these thoughts is for Thai Mainhard (Brazilian painter, born 1990) an abstract synesthesia. We say abstract because of the type of language she employs, expressive because of the color-laden composition; these features together suggest emotion and beguile the senses. The vision of her canvases captures and bewitches the eye by means of sinuous and compact lines, among chromatic blocks that escape from their surface spatial dimension and disperse into the surrounding space. Ordo ab chao, the Latins would say: an order in chaos is sensed in Mainhard’s paintings, and a calm stillness carries into her world. In the Brazilian painter’s work, her cultural matrix is clearly evident, the places and the street of her homeland, the sounds of the barrio, with the traditional colors that set her apart. Alongside these places – which become places of memory in many views – Thai places her own memories, her growing up in an unfortunately also difficult land, her experiences that shaped her and the influences she absorbed.
For her first solo exhibition in Naples, Thai Mainhard lands at Shazar Gallery in the heart of the azure historic center. Things come together when they do is the emblematic title chosen for the exhibition, under the guidance of curator Valeria Schaefer. With fourteen works on display, including seven paintings and seven mixed media drawings on paper, the painter brings with her a personal abstract language that refers – for inspiration – to celebrated artists such as de Kooning, Twombly, Mitchell, but which, in truth, are contemplative basis for generating a fresh and emotionally charged sign. Oil mixes with acrylic, charcoal with spray paint, paper with fabric, generating stunning mixed media paintings. In the works that succeed one another, color is never sidelined; it is alive, charged with energy, and makes even the deepest blackness creep in. The darkness of this color is a metaphor for the complexity of being, and Mainhard wisely balances it by mirroring his own history in it. On the other hand, the various reds, greens, blues and whites emulate the vibrancy passed down from memories to feelings.
Looking closely one almost has the impression of seeing those Brazilian features of her land, but also the various places the painter has crossed, such as the North American east and west coasts. This sensational motion is repeated in the other works, changing their size in space, but without changing their expressive charge. All are intuitive images that externalize Mainhard’s feelings.
The show turns into a place open to emotions, where the abstract stroke brings out the images in their simple complexity because they are vivid in the plurality of feelings felt by the painter. They are delineated visions that unfold in memories and sprinkle thoughts with vital energy.
Thai Mainhard. Things come together when they do
curated by Valeria Schaefer
12/05 – 07/07 2023
Via Pasquale Scura 8, Napoli
Art Curator and Art Advisor, graduated in Visual Arts and Cultural Mediation, with Master in Curatorial Practices, born in 1995, lives in Naples. He collaborates with Galleries and Independent Spaces, his research is mainly focused on Emerging Painting, with a careful and inclined gaze also on other forms of aesthetic language.