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.
Fonseca's 2016 Wildwood series represents a notable departure for the artist: vertical striations are laid upon largely white paper substrates speckled with ink, and atop those marks Fonseca has superimposed dots, circles, curves, and thick lines of brilliant color. As in all of Fonseca's painted oeuvre, these works on paper are titled primarily after the location that inspired their creation-in this case, the town of Wildwood-and secondarily, on a numeric scale, by their year (16) and number in the series (31). Prevalent in the Wildwood series is an atmosphere of control. Though Fonseca's marks appear spontaneous in form and placement, they rest upon a deliberate grid. To Fonseca, Composition forms content. The vertical lines within Wildwood P16.31 provide an essential substrate upon which to "read" the composition; as the artist himself states, legibility and forward motion are paramount:
"The relationships and interconnectedness between many forms, especially when read almost from left to right, creates a sensation of movement. It is perhaps the one aspect that Iwouldn't want to give up even as my work continues to evolve in many ways."
Studio of the Artist