ÉPICA DO ESPAÇO [THE EPICNESS OF SPACE], an exhibition of Osmar Dalio’s most recent works at Galeria Leme, reclaims and expands multiple possible significances attributed to the interrelationships between the sensuous and the conceptual, which give rise to that which we traditionally call sculpture.
The artist’s formulations require us to forge connections between limits, between extremes, completely blurring our preconceived notions of the distinctions between sculpture-architecture-engineering-mathematics-geometry and all the unfoldings and possibilities thereof. Space is the key element in the combination of the myriad components of his work. Not surprisingly, his new works are titled ESPAÇO ESTRUTURADO [STRUCTURED SPACE].
The artist’s deliberate strategy of manipulating and transforming matter, drawing on precise calculations, result in pieces that boast a powerful synthesis, pieces that convey the work’s countless conceptual imbrications.
In the environment of Galeria Leme, explored inside and out by the artist, the Epicness of Space manifests its full relational potency. Dalio’s Structured Spaces intensify and stimulate our experience of our surroundings, and, in turn, the relationship between our surroundings and the gaps, the empty spaces, the space between the lines, thus incorporating the element of time, not only by means of the forceful connections which the pieces create among themselves, but also in the multiple possible experiences which they offer or elicit from us.
The materials, the dimensions, the choices that determine the connections between its parts, its detachedness in space, its textures, its shapes, its articulations and movements are all part of the work’s impactful experience.
The dimensional interplay of Dalio’s sculptures requires active observation, which in turn leads to the emergence of new and individually-forged connections, concatenations, and nexuses, all of which depend on one’s personal inclinations and on the circumstances the artist creates so that, with every new observation, the works reveal new possibilities which extend far beyond their dimensional constancy, effectively relativizing it and, therefore, making it conditional to the possibilities inherent to each individual, added to the associations which his pieces, within the space of the gallery, ultimately elicit.
Dimensions are part of a system of reference points which are invariably bound to the rules of physics, and Dalio carefully models the geometric elements of his sculpture, affording us the opportunity to intuit the notion of perception itself, based on the connections he traces with gravitational forces.
Structured Space is, in truth, a set of independent monumental sculptures, conceived and produced with utmost care for detail and incredibly precise calculations, so that the weights, the resistances, the intersections, the cuts, the projections or rebatements, result in a precise balance between fullness and emptiness, which ultimately forces us to relinquish our positions as passive spectators.
The corten or weathering steel used by the artist, which undergoes a long and calculated process of chemical oxidation, has a unique tonality and a velvety texture. The soldering, the oxidation process and the finish indicate a great effort on the artist’s part to eliminate any trace of a gestural feature, allowing the sculpture to present itself in its fullness. The finish is perfect; corten steel has an intriguing tonality and a velvety texture. This contrasts with the apparent hardness or solidity of the material. His choice of corten steel makes us think about the paradoxes of form, seeing as the metal-and-carbon alloy is more resistant to rust and that its outer layer, the finish of which is obtained by means of chemical corrosion, prevents new oxidations from occurring, thus limiting oxidation to the outer layers.
In the context of Euclidian axioms and postulates, Dalio’s work associates itself with the artist’s conscious and passionate vision and method, resulting in a rationality and an order which add somehow connect to states of incompleteness – the incompleteness of our visual comprehension, of our gaze –, to sensibility, to new perspectives and to grandiosity.
If geometry effectively raises form to the condition of a symbol or cyphered image, the hearts and minds of humans complete them inasmuch as they reveal new and harmonious nexuses, associations and coincidences, which suggest perfection and thus bring us closer to that which is transcendent. Because of their incredible precision, Osmar Dalio’s works are also profound, sensitive, above par, extraordinary and beautiful, in short, epic.