That infinite inner sky.

That infinite inner sky. Reflections upon Silvia Brewda’s Counterpoint. Sceneries of the Line (“Contrapunto. Escenografías de la línea”)

“I believe that fires burn in the heart of the void as well as in the heart of man”
Yves Klein

The Spanish word for sky, cielo, the blue dome, that evokes luminous reminiscences, has its origin in the Greek term koilon, that means ‘hollow’. It is curious that this sublime phenomenon that has caught the eye of numerous religions and that has been object of reflection and fear has for Western culture a semantic origin related to the concept of void. The sky is, so understood, a void, a concavity. This vacant space has been filled up with different meanings by the men and women who have inhabited Earth and have risen their heads to contemplate it. Each given meaning explains less about the sky in objective terms than what it says about the projections of those who have named it every time. The sky, as empty as it is, generous in its mutability of representations, can be thought of as a mirror that reflects those who look at it. As above, so below. As outside, so inside.

When invited to visit the universe of graphic abstractions of Silvia Brewda, which is exhibited in the hall of Centro Cultural San Martín under the name of Counterpoint. Sceneries of the Line, one finds that the reciprocity between outside and inside and above and below acquires new meaning. Brewda’s art, as that of every artist that is honest and committed to their practice, emerges necessarily from an immaterial place previous to language and is produced with the artist’s back turned on the discursive mind. In this sense, it shares that immaterial place, that place of emptiness, with the sky. This creative awareness of the void enables the well-disposed observer to escape from certain habits of perception acquired during a life time. In the modulated and expressive compositions formed by traces, in the overlapping of patterns, in the holes and perforations employed as resources, in the use of the simple black and white as the only colors, the artist proves that abstract language can, even today, be essentially free, deeply humane and, nonetheless, openly rational. What seems to be the marks left by a body in action expressing itself on the basis of impulsive intuitions is in reality the result of a laborious process of production carefully carried out. This process includes photography, engraving and meditated composition. The devotion, the sober intimacy with which the artist engages her pieces in a physical sense is open and spontaneous. For the artist, this ceremony begins with a dispute and an endless decision-making process, and always finishes when she lets herself go in the joy of a new completed piece, a new message to offer.

Although the works included in Counterpoint. Sceneries of the Line show complex compositions in which graphisms predominate in their various possibilities, there is also a protagonist that keeps the whole together from an antagonistic position: void. With her feet on the workshop, her hands on the materials, her heart in the line and her mind focused on pursuing balance, Silvia Brewda has created sceneries of productive void. The vacant spaces generate and organize; show and convene. The void’s strategy is antagonistic, as mentioned, because in the act of overlapping piece upon piece, empty on full, and line upon line, void gains a place between two elements that was not perceived before. And in this way it reinserts new meanings where it did not seem possible. Bread turned into dough, and dough transformed essentially into a symbol, are seen as never before and carry meanings that are intimate in their origin but become universal in their outcome. The shapes from the artist’s newer series of works make us think about organs and lobes, tissues and fluids, a whole microscopic universe, infinitely tiny but absolutely vital. In the search for a harmonious consonance of opposite voices, the artist makes the line sing with a graphic voice that unfolds into thousands of modulations at the same time. She superimposes the elements, perforates them and rebuilds the image. She gives us, in the plastic work, the result of a long process that experienced along its making a complex and affectionate treatment of extremely simple elements: the trace, the holes, the colors white and black. With confidence in these elementary contrasts, the artist has built sceneries that have a momentary as well as profound equilibrium, foregrounding the ability of void as an organizer of the plastic space. Thus, meaning moves around freely between micro and macro, reminding us with just one gesture that “as above, so below; as inside, so outside”.

Traducción Mariana Gonzalez de Langarica