EXHIBITION: CENTRO CULTURAL SÃO PAULO – 1999 by Maria Isabel Branco Ribeiro

Elizabeth Dorazio’s work is based on the rigorous drawing style she learned at the Escola Guignard in Belo Horizonte; a style that perpetuates the concept of graphic precision as a basis for painting foreseen by the institution’s namesake, a Rio de Janeiro native who worked in Minas Gerais.

Fundamental for the artist’s training were many hours of careful observation. Disciplined live model study and lines drawn with a 6H pencil, as soft as the point of a nail, gave her an understanding of contours, of purity of line, of the spontaneity of gesture, and principally, of the remoteness of resources that draws attention away from anything not a drawing.

Her first paintings explicitly presented these aspects in a confrontation of lines and zones of color, portraying athletes exercising before well-delineated landscapes. Little by little, the description of the environment gained prominance over the human figure, and later a cutout of this landscape came to occupy the entire space of the canvas: the vegetation. In this journey, her use of color gained greater emphasis and Matisse-like characteristics, not only in the vibrant contrasts and in the associative character of the choices, but also in the intention to now highlight the foreground, now the bi-dimensional aspect, approaching the standards of prints.

In the paintings here presented, the care with bidimensionality is basically visual, distant from the illusion of space represented on the plane and purposely not coinciding with the smooth surface of the canvas.

This means the construction of color by an overlapping of pictoral layers, and, who knows, even of landscapes.

There is the addition of gauze, lace, and small objects that, buried in layers of paint, make up the skin of what the gesture of the brush will determine. Her precise and rapid drawing makes new lines emerge on the horizon, while treatments of botanicals, photos, real fruit and flowers spread over the studio, laceleaf, peonies, jasmine and leaves materialize on the canvas like Alice in Wonderland after sipping from the magic bottle.

Her spontaneous line makes flowers open widely, almost squeezed between floor and ceiling, but not threatening, filling with light and color the eyes and the hearts of whoever views them.

Maria Isabel Branco Ribeiro
Curator and Researcher

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