A PERENNIAL MUTANT
The coherence of the mode of expression of the graphic arts and the special and remarkable uniqueness of the artistic milieu have assured it a permanent place in art ever since its emergence, while the development of new supports and tools has guaranteed its continuous renovation both as a means for production in series and as a source of development of new iconographies.
Computerization and photography (digital and analogue) have been embraced, for two ends – to expand capacity for creative imagination, with the nature of these processes providing a range of hitherto unthought-of metaphors, while at the same time providing a means for reproducing originals which is consistent with the new age and takes into account the fluidity of the process of graphic creation. While this may alter, legitimately, the concept of “an original”, and open up discussion of concepts such as authenticity, nomenclature and editions, etc., the prevailing opinion is that authentic engraving does not consist only in the existence of a matrix or of an image, but depends on the existence of an “ideal”. The visual thinking of the engraver is so characteristic to the discipline that the use of new “tools” does not alter its special quality, which will always be essentially graphic.
This having been said, it is evident that new paths open up new reflections on procedure. We consider this to be an independent, dynamic and unique means of artistic expression, although always under threat, just like ballet, the cinema and chamber music. Living within a multidisciplinary context, artists have opened themselves to ever more rapid, bright and brilliant stimuli; and the graphic arts have reacted in an autophagous manner, like a cannibal who believes that by swallowing his enemy he is acquiring his qualities.
In the same way of painting has freed itself from the easel and sculpture from the pedestal, there is nothing more opportune, consistent and also necessary than for graphic art, the “perennial mutant”, to free itself from the bounds of books and glass cases and conquer new spaces, taking advantage of the new technologies with their refined perspective and perception and their infinite horizons. The imaginary has been liberated so as to become readily accessible, fulfilling the essence of graphic discourse.
Metal engraving has been expanded by using laser sensitization in the chemical (photographic) preparation of printing plates. And wood engraving, while it continues to practice its traditional gouging, is applying its matrix techniques and its tools to form its reliefs and depressions in synthetic or composite papers, or in the surface of concrete or soil-cement; and it is entering the realm of public art, giving production in series a new significance. Now exhibition and duplication depend on the number of derivatives rather than the size of the edition. The matrix is unique, but produces many impressions, which depend also on the number of observers.
Finally, photolithography (on zinc or possibly on wax), without losing any of its delicately subtle range of chromatic nuances, has expanded by applying computer techniques, giving it the capacity to reproduce an essential idea in fantastic volume, using a preconceived (or created) image free of the “impediment” of manual execution. When reduced to a diskette, it takes on a “seminal” character, ready to meet any need for duplication and publication.
Have the restrictions on the time and the audience for engraving been blow away as a result? Yes they have! Has this destroyed graphic values? No it has not!
The practice of illustration remains untouched, with direct insertion from residual memory as the counterpoint to graphic discourse transmitted through manual dexterity.
We believe that the transformation of engraving only serves to reaffirm its essential nature as the great mutant.
In parallel with these developments, we know of isolated individual artists and groups artists in Central Mexico and Brazil (cordel chapbook engravers, etc.) who are eking out a living by the day to day practice of engraving with rudimentary tools on modest and disposable supports for immediate consumption as information and entertainment. These great communicators have remained faithful over the centuries to this practice from generation to generation, unaffected by the changes around them, guaranteeing the resistance and evolution of engraving with renewed life and infinite repertoire.
These days it is more common to build airports than cathedrals. We know perfectly well how to build cathedrals, but we do not need any more. This does not mean that we have stopped building them –they are being built and will always be built, but for new liturgies and with other (novel) materials. It is the practice of building which is eternal.
The internet offers an inexhaustible source of knowledge and information – both established and experimental. At any time it is possible to recover the most varied traditions and to incorporate images and experiences, although in themselves they may be unconnected or dissonant. Whether intentionally or otherwise, they come to form part of our daily lives and of our stock of knowledge, albeit subliminally, within a blink of an eye.
Science tell us that the brain can produce and reproduce thousands of thoughts and successive combinations of images and associations at astonishing speed – and forget them just as fast… Perhaps it is time for engraving, as a means of artistic expression which has already entered the realm of high technology, to draw on the benefits of this wonderful cerebral cortex/codex.
All this having been said, however, the dynamics of knowledge are only valid when they serve to go beyond mere novelty and become a tool for new conquests. This issue, without doubt, is one of the foci of the discussions and reflections of the present symposium.
Maria Bonomi, 1999.
BONOMI, Maria. “A Perennial Mutant”.
Grapheion, Prague, 3-4th issue, 1999.
The print-maker is the artist who, in the age of information technology, redeems the manual age which, for all that, is no anachronism. Such is the perspective from which Mara Bonomi returns in lhe “Forma" ["Form"] series to ongoing problems in artistic craft, constructing a personal universe, guided by her intuitions, perceptions and intellections, in search of untransferable solutions, which might lead to crowning new achievements and the deprivation of the satisfaction of the desire to get it right. Such are the risks and dangers of the search for artistry.
Maria Bonomi revolutionizes Brazilian wood block printing. For her, geometric space as linked to the tradition of illustration does not necessarily have to be obeyed. The artist proves that wood block printing can stand the test of large formats that may be read from a distance, without any loss to the magic of discovering the textures and harmonies that a closer gaze provides. Maria has taken
the risk of inaugurating a scale to shelter monumental images. Working with measurements that do not conform to the orthodox standards of wood block printing is a tremendous challenge, and does not just represent a larger area for building powerful images, purely formal effects or banal sensory appeal. Her intention is to liberate wood block printing from its genealogy in terms of format and treatment, thus affording it an urban dimension — to leave books and move to murals. To broaden the tones as if she were working with the full sonic diversity of a symphonic orchestra.
Renina Katz, 1999.
RENINA, Katz. Maria Bonomi. A Forma.
[Folheto de divulgação], São Paulo, s/d.
FIVE MOMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY GRAPHICS
Maria Bonomi [...] prefers to interfere directly upon the matrix (or matrixes) by organizing areas, creating and proposing unusual spaces for the observer's gaze.
[...] Bonomi's work attests to a belief in the artist's ability to suggest the possibility of transformation in the world by transforming the material upon which she acts.
Tadeu Chiarelli, 1999.
CHIARELLI, Tadeu. “Cinco Momentos da Gráfica Contemporânea”.
In: Gravuras Contemporâneas.
São Paulo, Museu de Arte Contemporânea
da Universidade de São Paulo, 1999.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF SÃO PAULO
In the Jardim San Paul [subway] station, two concrete, metaphysical, suspended cubes envelop the ticket windows above the electric tracks and every six minutes a celebration of man and machine lakes place - In either words, lhe magical thrill of lhe metropolitan.
I experience the honor of raising a toast to the masses at people who will pass through there as the century turns with an underground landscape! Between one train and another, someone will raise his or her eyes and see his history, with a beginning, a middle and an end, a history or which he was a part as a former pedestrian, currently a passer-by in the entrails of the earth of Jardim San Paul; in the Capital city of San Paul, the world's second largest city in size, vocation and pretense.
What would Mario de Andrade have thought of his city beneath the ground? What would he imagine in this uncomfortable, vermicular position?
Knowing that above the electriﬁed, dynamized and energized tracks there will always be someone walking in the old garden square, in “Northern silence (...) irrigated by a woodsy breeze that blows in from the Jaragua".
Answer! A cannibalistic mixture at house and cellar where one cab watch the roots of trees grow (they grow up and down exactly like buildings grow in scaffolds and windows) and of the building through the time of imagination.
Two of the sides of the left cube (3m x 6m x 2,70m) shall contain modulated engraved concrete reliefs (only iron, steel and cement resist here), like thick penciled scribbles illustrating the penetration of vegetable curves on a familiar map, as the famous mountain and the powerful city are outlined in the background. The corner - the cube's edge — has integrated this landscape as part of the design.
The tow most brightly-it sides of the cube on the right (of identical measurements) shall speak to the city's past. Juxtaposed sheets of concrete, geometric outlines, perspectives suffocated by their feverish, ambiguous street corners, magnificent heights the eye cannot even see...
All of this in engraved juxtapositions or high and low reliefs lhe maximum proportion of which are 3 cm grooves superimposed upon 7 cm sheets or profiles affixed to the background.
It is wonderful to know that this "history" shall be told within the collective space that is currently the most visited contemporary museum in Latin America: the SUBWAY stations of São Paulo.
So good to know that there "everything is as clean as the melody of a ﬂute (...) if we wanted to, we could kiss the ant-free ground".
Maria Bonomi, 1994.
[Painéis iniciados em 1994 e concluídos em 1998.]
* trechos do poema “Manhã”, de Mário de Andrade.
Tengo grande afecto por la naturaleza, tengo grande afecto... [I have great affection for nature, I have great affection].
A Roberto Guevara's enlightened intuition mirrored American artistic and cultural unity in earth and clay. Through her pioneering hands - and now, in the hands of her followers, the Biennial's curators and collaborators - an historic transformation takes place within universal art that is established at a “certain moment". The "colonized" posture of the public and producers of art that serve an "imported" aesthetic and marketing is rejected; along with the artists, the American public frees itself, even the immigrants who, being in America, (North, Central, South) are no longer able to identify with what they left behind: once they have been integrated to contemporaneity, questioning propositions that have existed for millennial restore the fio conductor of authentic modern art. With its infinite idioms, clay privileges an autonomous renaissance of unpredictable breadth. The sustaining project of American art is confirmed in the duration, plasticity and meaning of clay. I dedicated this work of mine to Roberto Guevara, with gratitude, mas alla de la esencia, un altar cargado de energia [beyond essence, an altar charged with energy].
Maria Bonomi, 1998.
BONOMI, Maria (texto). III Bienal Barro de América.
“Maria Bonomi. Sobre a Essência: Os Sete Horizontes do Homem”. Maracaibo, Centro de Arte de Maracaibo Lia Bermudez, jun. 1998 /São Paulo, Memorial da América Latina, set. 1998.
Rare is the artist who has the courage to intervene radically in his own trajectory, altering the status quo, exchanging the certainties that legitimized them for other bold investigations, without tear of compromising a renowned past. After breaking some of the cardinal rules of print-making, the support that brought her world renown as one of the most expressive and celebrated or artists, Maria Bonomi has produced objects, murals, and sculpture and arrives at the installation by imposing a new order upon her work. Her nomadic, qualiﬁes once again reveal themselves at the level of the support. She puts into actual practice the idea that art can change things; it gives form and meaning to the world‘s energy. She brings living elements into communication with one another without privileging any one of them, matter pulses as pure energy and its function is to shape discourse. in this immense sandwich, the module is a multiple one and provides a conceptual representation of the planet's layers. It transforms the purpose of the secret center of the earth into layers, creating a private universe. Sliced and exhibited in a sort of superimposed window display, the earth's crust, creates in installation in which the instrument for analyzing language is the environment itself. The formal result arises from the multimedia marriage of sculpture, installation and print that is suggested in the printed traces at the top of the object, as it the grooves of a matrix reminded us that Maria is always a print-maker, no matter what path she chooses to travel.
Leonor Amarante, 1998.
AMARANTE, Leonor (apres.). III Bienal Barro de América.
“Maria Bonomi. Sobre a Essência: Os Sete Horizontes do Homem”.
Maracaibo, Centro de Arte de Maracaibo Lia Bermudez,
jun. 1998 /São Paulo, Memorial da América Latina, set. 1998.
IGRATION AND SUBSTITUTION
I try to make it possible to visualize the movement of peoples [povos], of individuals, groups, hordes... Through the marks teft behind by the transformations they brought about. In the physical, spiritual and symbolic worlds of their actions, of their slow, difficult movement and the leaving behind of recorded lives that disturbed or coexisted with the status quo. Some march, others run, they are warriors or nomads. And one fine day they settle somewhere for good. They are extinguished and reborn, they produce new contours, welcome or not, they establish themselves, they demarcate, they circumscribe, they cultivate - they immigrate and impregnate the earth and the spirit. It is a sacred act, or possession but also of fusion and of death. They are straight or curved lines, formed according to resistance, topology, according to what they ﬁnd. The immigrant is also the bearer of knowledge, the agent of transformations that cannot be refused - new trajectories. [...]
I spread the clay out on the floor and worked it into molds arranged as if for real tillage. I used two appropriate instruments, all I needed to do was sow and irrigate. With my own hands and tools, I printed the plots of stories I knew. Small, private or great, epic moments. I furrowed what I'd been told.
The central X of plate A [immigration] is made in polished high relief: the pre-existing presence yet to be conquered. The first sign man makes upon arrival, when he takes possession of something. The central mark. After which he begins to leaven, to prospect. Outside what has been “demarcated”.
In panel B [Substitution], X is the proven, consummated space, in low relief, the result of the mixed forces that dominated anything that opposed them. Simultaneously, the external territory is rejuvenated by this mixture; it is already the future...
Maria Bonomi, 1998.
IDENTIDADE DAS MEDUSAS
Como artista interpreto, faço o relato de alguma experiência marcante, a crônica visual das emoções do dia a dia. Registro “de verdade” cada encontro que me emociona.
Nada foi mais desconcertante do que um mergulho em águas marinhas, no meio dum bando de medusas! São gelatinosas águas-vivas que me envolveram fugidias, navegando com toda sua abrangência de vísceras siderais... Não havia como sair nem como voltar, o barco já ia longe, quando percebi fazia parte do grupo flutuante, nadávamos juntas e todas se moviam grudadas e relutantes (durou um segundo, durou uma vida) até completadas aquelas braçadas que me separavam da ilhota. Momento terrível e ao mesmo tempo deslumbrante.
[...] Sobre cada uma a luz incidia de um ângulo diferente e, com a refração de água, refletia milhares de variações coloridas. Moviam-se. Respiravam. Pude olhar dentro delas, até o outro lado e pelo meio onde são mais intensas e corpusculares, no centro parecendo um céu estrelado; nas extremidades são como pontas de cabelos.
Por muitos e muitos anos, em época certa, quando as água-vivas em algum ponto do mar realizavam sua dança reprodutora, eu, onde quer que estivesse, tinha as costas e o abdome habitado por uma infinidade de pontinhos vermelhos, irritantes, resultado daquele involuntário contato marinho.
Um velho marinheiro libanês me reconciliou com as medusas, disse-me ter sido honrada com este convívio, era símbolo de uma escolha protetora, uma verdadeira revelação da sorte, teria, a partir do contágio, corpo fechado à maneira grega.
Cada medusa retratada detém esta energia protetora e por serem as xilografias como as medusas, semelhantes entre si mas infinitamente multiplicáveis, serão sempre únicas quando comparadas uma com as outras, imagens símbolos do encontro com a boa sorte que deve ser “elaborada pela escolha”.
Maria Bonomi, 1996.
Bonomi, Maria (apres.). Identikit da Medusa.
São Paulo, Espaço Cultural Monte Líbano,
22 mar./21 abr. 1996.
THE PASSION OF MARIA BONOMI
The movement of her straight, disheveled gray hair frames her face, intensifying her animated conversation. Maria Bonomi speaks of prints and their meaning with the same passion she feels while making them. The hustle and bustle of teeming Sao Paulo are easily forgotten in her quiet, elegant living room, its walls covered with prints made by friends; a door that opens onto rolling lawns and tropical gardens. Her lightly-accented Portuguese and her tall, slim figure are unmistakably aristocratic, but her worn-out cotton work clothes and the simplicity of the house and studio reveal the determination with which Maria Bonomi has left aside everything that is not essential in order to
concentrate on art, in social causes, in the strictly political subjects of a citizen of Brazil, of South America, of the world.
In order to promote her objective of creating public art, Maria began to use her wood cut blocks also as forms for making murals or the walls of public places in Sao Paulo. That bold transformation of the engraving carved into an urban relief physically helped to construct a sense of modernity.
[...] Jacob Klintowitz explicitly stated what that meant for Brazilian print-making: “She transformed the engraving of images for books into images for walls, able to envelop the public in the effect of an absolutely visual language. She fundamentally changed lhe public's relationship with prints and the artist's relationship to the act of print-making", Klintowtz explains the conceptual significance of such a change: "l believe that Maria Bonomi's concept of total art transmits a new perception of destiny. Her scale is evidently a Brazilian standard, a philosophical concept of human possibility and the support that Brazil can offer its inhabitants". To be sure, he credits Maria Bonomi with the definitive contribution for raising the awareness of Brazilian society as to its basic rights, particularly, a life in which the aesthetic field is an everyday reality, the humanist ideal that identity requires art in order that dreams may be shaped. Maria Bonomi's feeling for wood (as a girl, she dreamt of being at carpenter), her technical knowledge and her delicate aesthetic sense allow her to transform simple subjects like the grooves of ploughed earth in cultivated ﬁelds into prints of remarkable dignity. Her determine struggle for printmaking and humanity continues.
She still takes on apprentices and, at this moment, she is working on making the new Brazilian print biennial an international competition. Energy, authority, vigor, passion - in life as in her prints. Speaking recently about her home and studio, Maria said:
‘If I were pressed to deﬁne a style, l'd have to say it's just affectionate, that's all", it would be hard to find more appropriate words to describe her.
Carol Pulin, 1995.
PULIN, Carol. “The Passion of Maria Bonomi!”.
Contemporary Impressions, The Journal of the American Print Alliance,
s.l., vol 3, n°2, Fall, 1995.
THE WOOD BLOCK PRINTS OF MARIA BONOMI.
He [Livio Abramo] used to say that print-making was like a pulsation: you opened up the light, worked the opposite way, with this peculiar process of thinking an engraving... And I never again was able to do anything else. I could no longer paint. It was something so involving that I have stayed with the process to this day...
There is a point of no return after wood block printing. One definitely leaves behind me badly drawn line, the cut... One cannot turn back and I find this sensation of a limit to be quite pleasing, I like it a lot.
There I sit with my little knife, chipping away at wood...
I won't say I don't ask myself why... What for?..., but l can't not do it... l don't know if l make the prints or if the prints want to be made of their own volition...
Maria Bonomi a Renato Palumbo Dória, 1995.
DÓRIA, Renato Palumbo.
“A Xilogravura em Maria Bonomi e Renina Katz”.
Revista de História da Arte e Arqueologia, Campinas, n. 2, 1995/1996.
THE FOUR AGES OF MAN. A MUSICAL SCORE.
CHILDHOOD — First Score
The first tender enchantment. Life happens delicately: unpredictable forms of chaos are transformed on their way to promise. Magic.
YOUTH - Second Score
The orgiastic reality of sell-discovery and inﬁnite power explodes - the implacable command of intuition. Everything is now permitted; the dynamics or time present no danger. Saturation.
MATURITY - Third Score
No longer a duly but an accomplishment. The courage to harvest and sow. Trajectory of steps that echo the certainly of individual truth. Fulfillment.
OLD AGE - Fourth Score
Life's complexity is wonderful Time supplies our curiosity with answers and frees man from chaos and impediment. Plenitude in the equilibrium of Wisdom; We finally conquer our place in the cosmos. Conclusion.
Maria Bonomi, 1994.
Print-maker Marie Bonomi was the first South American artist to have e special room at the Ljubljana Biennial, in what was formerly Yugoslavia. At the time, she was in the company of some ot the principal artists of our time, all of whom had had such a right as a result of important awards: Pierre Soulages, Yozo Hamaguchi, Antoni Tepies, Victor Vesarely, Henri-Georges Adam, Robert Rauschenberg and Janez Bernik. Maria Bonomi's graphic experience is broadly encompassing. She devotes all her energy to the task of producing forms, of overseeing the artist's craft and discovering new applications for creativity in the many activities of contemporary society. Her experience did not remove her from her primary interest in print-making; instead, it incorporated new growth areas for her personality in murals, screens, stage sets, costume design, layouts, illustration and teaching. She is enriched by her own craft and provides us, through her example and exclusive devotion, with a lesson in personal integrity.
Maria Bonomi pioneered the large format in print-making, bestowing new communicative value onto the copy. Her prints are a response to the modern architecture of wide experiential spaces.
They are prints that have left books to move onto walls; objects for individual contemplation have become propositions for permanent collective participation.
Maria Bonomi is the most faithful, transgressive lover that Brazilian wood block printing has ever had. No one clung as securely as she did to the traditions of the old technique and no one has become involved in as many experiments and attempts to extend the ancient method of printing to other social functions and activities. Bonomi is a print-maker who remains a xylographer, devoted to wood, she makes the groove, supervises Ina copy, plunges into the matrix as a deﬁnitive exercise of profound sensory experience. Maria Bonomi Amazon Forest photographs are part of the history of our art, the point of departure for Amazonian series. it is an easy image to remember: there is Maria Bonomi, a large woman with strong features, her hair loose, swaying in the wind, leaning on a huge felled tree trunk. As an artist, she followas the trail of destruction and recovers wood for the noblest form of recycling - that of art. Like a draftsman who traverses the battle ﬁeld to record and transform the crumpled bodies into art. The chronicler of our time.
After more than forty years of wood block printing. It may be said that for Maria Bonomi, that was an unlimited experience. And after her forms sparked the debate about a Brazilian scale, that experience became unlimited for us, too. The artist of the groove - which she led to unexpected places and materials - has left a profound mark on the country through her activity. The effect of her desire to multiply the groove in unusual materials and surfaces hes gone beyond her expectation, for the groove has also become imprinted on the on the sensibility.
Jacob Klintowitz, 1993.
KLINTOWITZ, Jacob. Os Novos Viajantes.
São Paulo, Sesc, 1993.
THE WOOD BLOCK PRINTS OF MARIA BONOMI
No artistic modality presents greater contrasts or antitheses than the print. And within this territory, wood block printing in particular stands out, because paradoxical opposition is precisely its fundamental essence.
The opposition between the delicateness and fragility of the final result - the wood block print on paper - and the solidity and concreteness of the resources used to obtain it, in an art that uses what is durable to represent the perennial in the lightness of the support.
An opposition that crafts the background by material substraction, by the antonyms of light and darkness instead of operating at level of areas, lines and contours.
An opposition achieved not only through the presence/absence of negative and positive, juxtaposed onto the tinted surface "versus" the limpidity of the paper, but also because of the very execution on this type of print that is entirely based on opposites.
Once gesture has guided the cutting instruments - the gouge, the chisel - it does not add - it removes matter, the mental concept eta wood block print takes place, from the very start, according to an inversion. The areas must be thought out not from an immediate aspect that will satisfy the artist's cognitive and sensitive perceptions but as the result of a total opposite represented by emptiness - a true hiding-piece of creation.
Extracted from there — from the misty, unknown hiatus that dominates creativity - the forms of woodcuts are resolved in their negatives - the wooden matrixes - in flat, dry, rigid incisions typical of the large numbers of prints made according to this process. This is where (by virtue of its difference) mention must be made of the work of print-maker and visual artist Maria Bonomi [...].
For the artist is not limited to any mere record of grooves and incisions. To her, emptiness is not emptiness.
It is space out up, canved out and tirelessly pursued in fluid, precise incisions — remarkable indexes of her full mastery of the groove outlined - an outline that will illuminate a matrix of such visual beauty that it will be transformed into another anomalous, autonomous work of art, unique in its origin, for it came into being as a vehicle for a different idiom.
In these furrowed grooves, the work that was to have been two-dimensional takes advantage of stereo - of solid three-dimensionality - giving rise to a print that is born as sculpture.
Thus, her wood block prints are noted tor the special treatment given to the matrixes which start off as pieces of sculpture that are highly elaborate, richly carved, plane by plane, the heart of which is hollowed-out space.
Printed on a gigantic scale, according to the restrictive standards [of the 1970's], her works are in watershed in the history of wood block printing.
[...] The symbolic, emblematic nature of her prints leap out at us, deﬁnitively abstract and incorporating the social meaning of dual-purpose "manifesto prints" - that demand to be shown, therefore constructing manifestations of deﬁant attitudes and, secondly, manifest the idiomatic specificities of wood block printing, renewed by the monumental nature of her works, imposing by their very presence.
Nilza Procopiak, 1990.
PROCOPIAK, Nilza (cura). Espaço Escavado.
Xilogravuras de Maria Bonomi.
In: IX Mostra da Gravura Cidade de Curitiba.
Curitiba, Palacete Leão Júnior, 18 out./16 nov. 1990.
From the 1960s onward, Maria Bonomi's wood block printing exceeded the boundaries of the Intimate, confessional nature of print-making as once practiced in Brazil. However, Bonomi had not lost sight of the political commitment in the prints of her teacher, Livio Abramo. [...] Since the 1960's, oppression extended from right to left across the Berlin Wall or the dictatorship in Brazil, and the artist was an eyewitness to it. Her prints are her combat and her accusation. Her project was to raise a voice or to re-utter a word that had been silenced. That discourse adopts a severe tone in order to avoid Certain "stylistic figures". She chooses to make visual arguments of her graphic images, oriented by tactical maneuvers of persuasion. Printed forms, engraved images condense a graphic energy onto great white planes. They wound the vast planes of light. They function as scars that fix the gaze upon these points, anchoring the movement of the eye there where freedom does not flow. The process of
symbolizing abstract images allows us to see how Bonomi dispenses with the evidence of figuration as a semantic source. The large scale of these prints defines them as a "physical (bodily) fight" at the level of perception: seeing is being able to protect one's own body into space, it is projecting the fantasy or dissolving one's self into some of the visual chasms of a "Ballad of Terror". it sacrifices mimetic artifice for entanglement in a discourse of signs. This quality of being able to politicize the abstract is the greatest dimension dimension of sociability in the work of Maria Bonomi.
Paulo Herkenhoff, 1993.
HERKENHOFF, Paulo (apres.). Ultramodern. The Art of Contemporary Brazil. Washington D.C., The National Museum
of Women in the Arts, 2. apr./1. aug. 1993.