Stella Teixeira de Barros. Onde o ser e o estar igual fora. Publicado no catálogo da exposição na Valu Oria Galeria de Arte, São Paulo – versão para o ingles: Where being and being the same was – 1997 -
The work of Luiz Hermano follows a path supported by the constructive structures it is composed of, by the rhythmic touches of its developments and repetitions, by the mixing of light and shade, by the punctuation of the barroque syntax of the elaborate graphic representation, by the archaic memory of artifacts from his native town in Ceará, and by the vibrant sensuality that marks the luxurious economy of the recurring composition lines. Combining the elements of this path a reflection arises which recovers the craftsmanship of an ideal time, revealing an artist with no roots but, at the same time, deeply immersed in the world.
Luiz Hermano’s apprehension of the world is done through diverse parameters, where the lines and the playfulness of the conception are primordial elements, for a long time visible though slightly in his work. Throughout his development as an artist some elements fade, others temporarily disappear and then return, while others insistently remain. Among these is the sinuous unfolding of Moebius’tape, which grows into dynamic and complex spiral lines in his sculptures as well as in his previous engravings, re-arranged in elliptical conciseness. The delicate voluptuous weaving of wood and metal strips reveals an increasing trend towards the abstract in tri-dimensional structures, which, without completely releasing the basic figure express the complexity of its changing gestures. Meanwhile, the archetypal symbology of cones, balloons, animals, fantastic creatures, and war devices loses ground to the emptiness of explicit meanings.
From time to time, his craft is condensed into thick layers such as in “Ex-Voto”(Ex-Vow) or “Coração”(Heart). Sometimes, the lines coherently open to new experiments become more angular, geometrical, such as in “Torre”(Tower) or in “Cubo Desmontável”(Collapsible Cube).The straight lines, however, still keep the vibrant and rhythmic undulation which comes from within the object. The magic of the weaving and the texture of the materials act in these rational and constructive graphic configurations with the same skillful powerfulness they appear in the organic sinuosity.
The malleable modular structure and the connected fragments refer back to the inherited craftsmanship of a tradition deeply rooted in the artist, expressed in the sewing, the embroidering, the lacework, the weaving, the basket making of his early days. While his work still carries the heritage it also disintegrates it as industrialized materials corrupt the reminiscences of the past. However, the ancestral knowledge remains because it contains the elements of change towards a reflection on the disparity between craftsmanship and industrial processes. The dialogue of flexible structural geometry appears in “Os Bichos”(The Beasts) by Lygia Clark, “Metaesquemas”(Meta-schemes), and “Relevos Especiais”(Special Reliefs) by Helio Oiticica. The taste for ornament and the careful manipulation in the weaving of graphic elements, however, bring one more feature to the organic conception: a reference to the Barroque. Combined with ancestral craftsmanship the reference does not imply that the artist opted for the past but that he selectively made use of its fundamental elements, a choice which reinforces the idea that, according to Bonito Oliva, the contemporary is the only option open to a roaming and transient mentality which does not mind only being “new”, once historical optimism has long failed.
The dimension of the game between the whole and its parts, the continuous and the discontinuous, the work and the fragment, brings forth the unity and the precision of the artist’s work, his rationality, floating between the crude assembly of parts and the voluptuous network interspersed with sensuality. Without losing coherence in organizing the parts, the sculptures derive from the relationships between these same parts, infiltrated by moving lines which, with profound irony, break the rigid character of strictly mental construction.
The emptiness of symbolic codes in Luiz Hermano’s work does not imply they are saturated since the abstract character of these codes remains linked to the figure, keeping a dose dialogue with the formal organic configuration, for example, in “Esculturas para Vestir”(Sculptures to Dress), which the artist created around 1994. The dresses depicted bodies, they did not simply dress them. These recent sculptures also refer to the tangible sensuality of the figure: their metaphorical and metonymical content revives the “topoi” of the desire when they trace the inner and outer movements of mutation between sensibility and sensuality. In this sense, it is possible to realize that the cultural memory is not only being redimensioned, in the search for malleability and permanent mutation: memory, quoting João Cabral, “embraces the body and whips it / as some heavy object / which is at the same time hollow / and which the body had, where it once was / and where being and being the same was”.