Well known for his abstract tonal paintings which have over several decades explored the interplay of forms interacting with each other, Caio Fonseca's work is in part influenced by his training and interest in classical musical composition. In Fifth Street C11.70, 2011 Fonseca has begun to distill his vision and approach to painting, which results in a boldly minimalist painting with shades of grayish blacks punctuated against a white background. Fonseca aspires toward abstraction in the purest sense, or, as he explains, that which can be communicated in paint alone as a medium. There are musical and mathematical allusions in his works, and a reference to his studio on Fifth Street in the title. His works are avidly collected because they just look great on the walls. At the young age of 42 in 2001 Fonseca joined an elite club of living artists whose works have been acquired by major contemporary museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. It is interesting to note that few of Fonseca's pictures turn up in the auctions rooms or in the secondary market, because his collectors simply do not want to part with them.
At the heart of Fonseca's painting is the process of creating and seeing relationships-of color, composition, shape, visual movement and space. Pietrasanta P05.39, 2005 reveals a number of paint layers and attendant coloring that is less intense than some of Caio Fonseca's other Pietrasanta paintings but still rich in tone. The artist has covered his picture surface with organic geometric shapes that are articulated against a monochromatic white background. These shapes have all been placed at carefully planned strategic points. Underlying the surface of the work is a series of raised lines that run horizontally and add a three dimensional layer to the painting. These lines and other incisions that seem to cut through the surface further provide a subtle texture to the surface. Bars, elongated rectangles, small squares, and partial circles are arrayed across the picture like musical notes, resulting in a feeling of movement that is an important part of Fonseca's creations. These rhythmic patterns are a consequence of the artist's training as a classic piano player. Fonseca is known to begin his day by playing the piano before he undertakes to paint. While all of Fonseca's paintings have been carefully thought out, there is still an unmistakable playfulness evident in Pietrasanta P05.39, 2005, as different shapes seem to dance and almost frolic across the surface. The liveliness of these shapes and the paint surface create an energy that seems to emanate from the work and invigorate it.
Studio of the Artist