The artist, Gustavo da Liña, from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, who has lived in Berlin since 1989, has won a greater recognition abroad than in his own country, except, may be, for Porto Alegre, where he has a fixed studio. Considering his originality and relevance, it would be suitable that his research had a broader disclosure, by organizing exibitions in some of our main cities and by a publication capable of showing the wide scope of his prolific trajectory.
The fact that the artist was born in the frontier between Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay, has deeply marked Gustavo´s sensibility and perception. The territories permeability and the close presence of others, have been his seminal experiences which were transformed into poetic matters by the artist. His works, above all with his maturation, do not belong to this or that place, to this or that culture, to this or that time. Living abroad has never implied the dissolution of his previous experience, and from the references that remain inside him, even when they are hidden, the artist travels around the world taking possession of signs, processes and a variety of materials in order to submit them to his own logic.
Thus, as his paintings do not fit very well as such, the curly and rough surfaces, the stamped signs they carry are like the vestiges of a previous time that still exists and acts over our present time, changing it. On the other hand, the marks made on such expressive material, renew their power, taking them shape and energy.
What can we say about the material the artist uses? It is an absolutely unique paper, found by the artist during his trip to Madagascar in 1990, a typical sign of a restless spirit. Under Gustavo´s hands, the Antaimoro paper, obtained through ancestral techniques which until then were exclusively used by the local people. This paper, of exceptional properties such as its remembrance of leather due to its resistance, has been spread to such an extent that is being the topic of a research done by the Technology Centre of the Federal University of Brasilia, having the artist as a consultant.
With his combining of ritualistic and technological characteristics, along with his synthesizing a broad artistic expression with the sensibility of our times, Gustavo da Liña is an artist who deserves to become better known and appreciated by our artistic community and the general public.
Prof. Dr. Agnaldo Farias, 2004
Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Sao Paulo University.