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.
An elegant metallic totem balances the mass of a cherry wood block in Caio Fonseca’s Modular Form #7, one of nine works created by the artist between 2014 and 2016 that represent his bold foray into sculpture. Fonseca utilizes a casting process that allows each cast to bear its own unique inclusions and imperfections in the metal; no two casts of the same form are identical. Crafted from cast aluminum and steel, these works juxtapose hard-edge geometric forms with rough, organic, surface textures that betray the hand of a painter. In 2016, one of these Modular Forms was chosen, along with a painting from Fonseca’s Fifth Street series (2011), to be included in the exhibition “Abstraction Today” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia. Modular Form #7 is perhaps one of the most formidable and solid works in the series, featuring more square and block-like forms than its largely thin and columnar counterparts. Comprised of a grid-like series of brushed metal cubes arranged on a flat plane, Modular Form #7 owes its exactitude to Fonseca’s precision and compositional expertise. Fonseca has subjected the sculpture to a series of incisions: visible on its face are faint etchings of shapes and lines—much like the grids that underscore his works on paper and canvas—and in addition, curvilinear sections of metal have been excised and negative space left in their stead. Common between Fonseca’s recent sculpture and his widely-celebrated canvases is a focus on motion and direction; as the artist himself states:
“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 I wouldn’t want to give up even as my work continues to evolve in many ways.”
Studio of the Artist