Sofia Pidwell

Performance Exposição «Correspondências»

Museu Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva


The call for painting.


The artist’s work has developed over the past few years in drawing as well as in painting. Through drawing, Sofia Pidwell has created works that adjust perfectly in the space they are being inhabit. This intensity comes from a cumulative process that results in extensive meshes of small circular shapes expanding across the wall, the ceiling, and areas where canvases or frames would not ideally fit. This means that space will act as a support and as a morphological structure. However, these meshes, like small molecule blankets, do not show a sequence, a metric or a grid, and thus, we do not recognise a starting or an ending point. The upright position of our body will lend them a direction, which can be diagonal at times leaving the floor and the ceiling to act as their spatial limits. If in these works, the pattern replicates almost indefinitely, in a contained expansion of these small shapes, in Sofia’s most recent work the movement becomes broader and faster, as if the chromatic lines were always in motion, with no beginning and no end.

At the exhibition “Correspondências”, installed in the home-studio of Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Sofia Pidwell shares her work’s new positioning, where this work assumes itself as a response to that call for painting inscribed in the history of the home-studio and in our memory. The paintings, like vortices of cosmic appearance, take a considerable dimension and their limit is the hand that painted them, but they maintain this movement of circularity of the body, which expands in the surface of the canvas and concentrates on the image represented. If the correspondence with Vieira da Silva’s style can be an appeal, the correspondences generated in that space are a challenge to the viewer, who is assaulted by a strong chromatic palette that hides and at the same time reveals the movement of shapes without defining their limits. It is like a metaphor for infinity and for the way we understand ourselves as living, sensitive beings, phenomenologically subject to the affection of the world, which, for Sofia Pidwell, is not distant from us: quite the contrary, it is internally shared.
This notion of sharing is also a notion of belonging, so the works expand through space, in this case through their dimension, and through the movement of a blindfolded body that surrenders to a common, ecumenical game, in which each participant will cover their eyes with a strip of white fabric. A performative action with no intention of hiding the paintings, the house or its environment behind the blindfold. On the contrary, it is a moment of reflection, of inner appeal and of exegesis, which will reveal itself in this re-encounter of Maria Helena’s house, with the memories that Sofia’s painting temporarily occupying.


João Silvério