The equilibrium and simplicity of form are combined with an unceasing research into colors, graphic details and textures in the work of the ceramic artists Elizabeth Fonseca and Gilberto Paim.
by Fabíola Duva Bergamo, KAZA magazine, November 2003
Elizabeth and Gilberto decided to live and work in the mountain region of Nova Friburgo, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in order to finely tune the rhythm of their lives to their artistic production. They chose a peaceful setting surrounded by the lush greenery of the Atlantic rainforest, where they could seek the inspiration and concentration that ceramics requires.
Elizabeth has a special interest in contrasts of color (black and white) and texture (rough and smooth) and also in the weave of threads that are wrapped around the pieces, either in a more geometric or looser way. Gilberto prizes a well-defined form, impressing the surface with a touch of mystery that encourages the observer to draw closer, to discover. Although they produce individual works, the desire to share ideas, experiences and sensibilities leads them into joint productions, where the possibilities multiply and creation flows more intensely.
The main raw material is porcelain clay, pure and white, whose luminous beauty is revealed in the manual process, which is meticulous and in constant renewal, while the tonalities result from extensive coloration research with mineral oxides. Special mention should be made of the effect of the interventions that the artists execute on the surface of the pieces. An investigation that explores the successive plastic stages of porcelain from malleability to rigidity, creating reliefs and shades. After slow and meticulous drying, the 1250ºC electric kiln temperature vitrifies the porcelain. And each piece becomes unique, even those that might sometimes represent variations of formal themes.
Gilberto Paim and Elizabeth Fonseca graduated in Communication from PUC Rio de Janeiro. They have worked professionally since 1980 and have taken part in various exhibitions: in the British Applied Art Gallery Wilson and Gough, London, 1990, The Ceramics and the Horla, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, 1991; The New Presence of Ceramics, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, 1993; Artisans of Brazil, Art Museum of the Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation, São Paulo, 2000; Brazilian Ceramics: Buildind a Language, Brazilian-British Center, São Paulo, 2000; Masters of Ceramics, ECT Cultural Center, Rio de Janeiro, 2001. Gilberto Paim has published two books: Ceramics and the Horla, book-catalogue of the exhibition staged in the Modern Art Mueum of Rio de Janeiro, 1991; Beauty under suspiction, Ornament in Ruskin, Lloyd Wright, Loos, Le Corbusier, Leach and others, Jorge Zahar Editor, Rio de Janeiro, 2000.