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veiled Exhibition

“Veiled” is an exhibition with a selection of works by Jaime Carvalho created while working on his master’s thesis in Italy.
Immediately from the exhibition title, the only certainty that is suddenly revealed to the observer is that the real will hypothetically be hidden. Jaime also wrote about this omission, but focused on drapery and relied on sculptural examples from a long period of art history. He sought to first understand the poetics that were intelligible in works that explored this formality and then created examples based on this ancient aesthetic, which he concluded was deeply rooted in Western culture.
From Claus Sluter, the innovative sculptor of the court of Philip II, to Nicoló dell’Arca, whose masterpiece, the “Lamentation of Christ”, seems to anticipate the theatricality of the Baroque in late Gothic art and precedes the virtuous Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who is also inevitably referenced in the research. He ends his thesis with the sculpture “Veiled Christ” by Giuseppe Sanmartino, now present in the chapel of Sansevero in Naples.
An investigation that quickly made him understand that drapery and fabrics play a fundamental role in attributing to immobile sculpture what Georg W. Friedrich Hegel, in his lessons on Aesthetics, defines as an ideal of beauty; “the expression of the spirit is the essence of the human figure,” and that for the work to be complete, the artist must seek to imitate that expression, which is succinctly found in nature.
Even master Michelangelo had absolute awareness of this, which is not surprising as he subtly represented the veins of David’s right hand in one of his masterpieces, “David”, swollen and those of the left hand that he raised less accentuated, providing the observer with the perception of life pulsating and circulating within that statue.

Velado – Resin and fiber glass, 200x60x80 cm, 2012

Jaime highlighted in his thesis that through the representation of drapery, several artists were able to exhibit this expressive valence of the spiritual to achieve that definition of beauty, because in the textile element, the reflection of the action of nature itself, or its absence, is evident.

For example, a sculptural group that portrays a moment of historical conquest, due to the importance of the event, will always have a composition in which the garments and veils flutter in the wind, providing the scene with the vigour of conquest. Whereas, if we enter a cemetery, all the garments worn by the eternalized characters are fallen and “lifeless,” even the sculptures of characters who lament their death in the composition appear with fallen garments, honouring the sadness of that solemn moment.
In addition to this stylistic device that essentially defines the expression of the natural, the use of veiling in sculpture also captured the sculptor’s attention for another reason, on which he focused mainly his effort to develop the work he presents at Galeria Resistência.
The dichotomy between the presence or absence of the body itself may not be the beginning of the analysis of each of the works for the observer, and for this reason, the author may have grouped them under this exhibition title. In fact, in most of the works, we only recognize the human figure thanks to the rigorous modelling of the surface that conceals them, the veil. In a few words, we observe the surface of the body, and in most of the works, he states that it does not even exist. Therefore, returning to Hegel’s thinking, Jaime considers that what these veils obscure is, above all, the very abstract content of the concept of spirituality, which he believes is closer to the human being. Concluding that this layer (veil) is, in fact, a link rather than a barrier to the observer’s gaze and thought.