The exhibition Pocket Painting displays a series of 90 canvases in 4 x 6 inches format created by Paulo Pasta in the last two years. The opening also marks the inauguration of Millan’s third exhibition space in São Paulo.
Unprecedented in his production, the diminutive format led the artist to revisit issues dear to his production over the last four decades and, from this process of synthesis and research, to open new possibilities for experimentation. As the writer and literary critic Davi Arrigucci Jr. says in a text — also concise and precise — published in the book that accompanies the exhibition, the search of every artist is that “the unlimited fits in the minimum”. The little paintings that Pasta has been producing have exactly this capacity of condensation between excess and concision.
The Pocket Painting installation highlights the individual strength of these works by showing them alone or in small groupings, like blobs of color distributed in the gallery environment, evoking conversations or musical notations. “You never make two identical paintings,” says the painter paraphrasing Heraclitus, and underlining that there is always a minimal difference that appears in the seemingly equal, thus testifying to the value of time.
PhD in Fine Arts from the University of São Paulo (2011) and one of the main painters of his generation, Paulo Pasta (1959, Ariranha, SP) has had solo exhibitions in places such as: Millan, São Paulo, Brazil (2021, 2018, 2015, 2012, 2007); David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA (2022); Cecilia Brunson Projects, London, UK (2022); Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil (2018); Palácio Pamphilj, Rome, Italy (2016); Sesc Belenzinho, São Paulo, Brazil (2014); Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013); Centro Cultural Maria Antonia, São Paulo, Brazil (2011); Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2008); Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil (2006); among others. His works are featured in many collections, among them: Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Belas Artes do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Kunsthalle Berlin, Germany; Kunstmuseum Schloss Derneburg, Hall Art Foundation, Holle, Germany; and Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.
Being trapped in a nutshell and still imagining yourself as the king of the infinite might be more than just a Hamlet dream. It will perhaps be every artist’s enticing quest: that the unlimited fit into the minimum. Paulo Pasta, with the present in mind but a reserved painter of primeval columns, risks condensing the infinitely large into the infinitely small, as a concrete and concentrated picture of life in short. The poetry always accompanies its subtle trait in the interweaving of colors in unspeakable contrast, now returns to tell us that pocket painting can also be, as in the poem, the art of compression at a propitious moment the whole in one.
— Davi Arrigucci Jr., 2023