Manuela Xavier`s invisible cities

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How can we explain the strong attraction that Manuela Xavier`s works exert upon the spectator? Through the colour, because of the unusual conceptualisation of space or because it is difficult to define the frontier between painting and sculpture?

This last one may be the most attractive characteristic of her work extraordinary is the way she succeeded in, with apparent facility, to be beyond the limits between painting and sculpture. Transforming successfully the routinary bidimension of a painting into something tridimensional, Manuela Xavier came into a new dimension.

Enlarging the borders of a painting, she converted a simple plane into a parallelepiped or, as she likes to call it, into a box – “my boxes”. And her boxes didn`t rise to be alone. They need the company of their twins, in even numbers, but in preference, numbers. Dressed to the wall or heaped up on a shelf; disordered in a corner or in a row, they remember the old times “ legos and castles”. So that, curiously, in spite of her enormous creative capacity, Manuela Xavier doesn`t quit to appeal to the spectator imagination, and to his active participation in her works exhibition. She doesn`t ask suggest that her paintings / scultures should be exhibited in a definite order, way or in a special position. On the contrary Manuela`s sculptures are not quiet. They cry out to be touched, to be handled, to be invented. She wants the infinite alternatives to be explored and to play with the optic illusions. The perfect geometry of her lines, the subtle games of light / shadow crested with the austerity of the masculine lines are reinforced by the colour most of the time feminine. Strong or primary colours are so much violent as sensual, libidinous, or very much oriental.


They are actual, and that explains the recognition obtained by Manuela Xavier. But, on contrary, we could think, the formula is far away to be drained. In this exhibition are already announced new ideas and studies where once more, the spectator is appealed to reinterpret the own work at oneself`s standart and taste. The invisible cities – some of them yet in a prototype shape – let us to foresee that their magnificient lines have a future. Cylindrical, cuboid or as imaginations intend to.