Ruído [Noise] includes ten recent paintings by Bruno Dunley (b. 1984, Petrópolis), which condense the central points of his pictorial research from the past two years, since his solo exhibition at Centro Universitário Maria Antonia (São Paulo, 2013).
As the outcome of his quest for a narrative set at the boundary of painting as language, Dunley’s work lets go of traditional figurative representation and retains, for this show, its past characteristics. The materiality of the brushstroke, the tense interplay between planes filled in opposing ways (instability against pure colour, geometrical rigueur against loose lines), and the juxtaposition of layers remain relevant elements of a narrative that is built on the outer edges of strict representation.
Yet, there are new developments that attest to the evolvement of artist’s work. The colour play that began in his previous exhibition has taken on more radical variations, sharper tones and even metallic shades, as well as direct interventions with charcoal. Blander tones, like grey, which were prominent in the previous show, were minimized in a quest for intense vibration. Acrylic paint emerges as a raw material alongside oil paint.
The formats also begin on the smaller end, with pieces ranging from 24 x 30 cm to 150 x 200 cm. As for materials, in addition to the traditional canvases, lightweight Fabriano paper is a new element. The paint’s absorption causes the oil to leak through the edges, adding yet another element to the painting, applied directly onto the white medium; unlike the canvases, where the artist prepares the base coating with several layers of paint in order to cover the mesh of the fabric.
In same cases, the artworks’ names adds a new layer of meaning, which insinuates itself into a narrative through visual sensations in connection with words, as is the case with “Drive-In” (2015). The 120 x 160 cm canvas subtly harks back to the headlights of a car, lit up at night in a field of strong pink, centralizing the mass of deep-blue paint whose brushstrokes are alternatingly linear and uncontrolled, as if erasing a previous plane – another feature of Dunley’s painting.
With his new show, Bruno Dunley combines technique with a sharp sensibility not only for art, but to his own time as well. Through the instability of the image and the fugacity of meanings extracted from the interplay with the elements circumscribed to the field of the history of painting, the artist evinces the undefined character of the world today, undecided between appearance and essence.