Denis Diderot in his “Essai sur la peinture“, in the chapter “Mes petites idées sur la couleur“ (my little ideas on colour) recalls that each passion has a colour. As for the passion for the colours themselves, he remains silent. If always, he puts the colour above the drawing, he means that its use, by combinations and mixtures, serves to restore the emotion of reality. Diderot sings what, from red to pink, expresses the candor on the cheeks of the little girls of Jean-Baptiste Greuze. As for Chardin, he esteems him because he celebrates and awakens the entire spectrum of light by looking at the most humble things.
But what about the passion for colours? Passion understood as a carnal relationship with them. Let us dare to be in love, to evoke the work of Rui Prazeres, thanks to the exhibition given at the “Orangerie de Verrière-le-Buisson“. What characterizes him today: the colour, but the artist challenges and surprises us when he says: “I want to see without seeing.” Seeing, but without eyes? Enigma, because then, how and from where to perceive?
Here we have omitted to evoke his painting. It pursues forms of wings or meteorites in pneumatic or earthy skies. Forms inscribed with a gesture that seeks allusion with mastery. But also on the other hand when, with a minimal act, he sticks to the canvas stones found not far from the studio. These graphic or factual events stand on flat tints of pure pigments laid down so generously that they stain the fingers of the gourmand who dares to stroke them. These flat areas obliterate the gaze, captivate it, capture it. And yes, even with closed eyes, the blues and browns of Rui Prazeres cross the eyelids under an unprecedented effect of afterglow. Can we talk about monochrome? Why not, but on condition that they vibrate and tumble the gaze. For, in painting to say monochrome amounts to making the meaning of this word lie, as long as after we have closed our eyes, the thing in front of us continues to act in us. It is then that this contemplative quality is born in us which abstracts us from recognized places of consciousness by making an adventure with the sensations of our whole body. Subjected to this commotion, we understand Rui's singular work: to give the material-colours of his powders and pigments an awakening vigor. Chromotherapy without a program where by the pleasure felt, we can guess the path of trials that the painter had to go through, stripping himself of the form to reach "over there, over there" so well evoked by Charles Baudelaire, and may be beyond.
“Saison de culture“, october 2021