The Frontier Man

The work, as such, belongs only to the realm that is opened by it, as its essence only exists in that opening.

Gustavo Dalinha's work is guided by a spiritual quest through many ancient traditions.

His name, da Linha, reflects the fact that Gustavo was born on the border between Brazil and Uruguay.

It was not a line of separation, but an opening line, a line that connects to other planes. Dalinha sees in this line a crack to other worlds. It is a search for meaning that lies on the other side, a meaning that pursues another reality beyond what is perceptible.

Although he is constantly renewing his work, always with a new look, we are aware that his works originate from intimate experiences. His visions establish new forms.

The artist shows his affinity with various traditions: Tibetan Buddhism, esoteric Christianity, Shamanism and Sufism which underpin the Fourth Way knowledge system, a doctrine to which Gustavo Dalinha adheres. These great traditions of wisdom, spiritual, philosophical and life practice approaches reveal lights, shadows and shapes he embodies in his work. Through textures and colors, he intends to show and share with us a virtual initiation path expressing, on one hand, the light of knowledge and, on the other hand, darkness and silence, always appealing to a nature that he perceives as mysterious. Matter is not conceived as something scary but as a corporeal element that carries the power of fertility.

He uses Antaimoro paper as the medium for some of his works, a paper created in Madagascar by a tribe of Islamic culture, used to record and transmit their knowledge. This paper is attributed magical properties. Its fibrous structure gives a clamping force to this paper, which can be treated in different ways allowing multiple approaches.

A dialog is established between the paper and the artist, Gustavo Dalinha prepares the pigments and, based on his intention, he starts the work. However, there is a moment in which the result depends also on the paper, on how it absorbs the materials: it decides the results altogether since it has its own free will.

The topics developed by the artist, such as light, cracks and hieroglyphics, remind us of the search of the unseen, encrypted things. He shows different shapes and different textures while transmitting a chromatic range of "low" palette (dark and grayish colors).

Gustavo Dalinha's suggestive works invite us to go beyond the visible world and deeper into mystery.


The borders of a country are the territories where the history and foreign policy of the States are more present in the lives of their citizens. There is no place where issues related to national sense of belonging and identity are portrayed with such power, due to continuous contact of the cities located beyond the dividing line. This is a line that unites rather than divide. In addition, the border gets people together, allows us to better understand other cultures, an experience that serves as a basis for the integration and friendship between peoples.

Gustavo Dalinha is a frontier man par excellence, by birth and biography. His hometown, Santana do Livramento, mingles with the Uruguayan Rivera, which is separated by a street, and both are just 200km from Paso de los Libres, Argentina. The adventures of Gustavo took him to Europe, where he lived for two decades, and successive journeys through Africa, where he found many of the materials used in his work.

I met Gustavo in Berlin, when he was Ambassador of Brazil in the Federal Republic of Germany. Two of his works are exhibited in a prominent place in the Embassy. Simplicity and lightness of shape, the movement of the elements that make up each painting, their compositions of great expressive force and power of attraction stand out in both works. Above all, I was impressed by the originality and eclecticism that Gustavo prints in his work; these are marks —maybe marks of the border itself— that show deep understanding of the places where he travels.

The Embassy of Brazil is proud to receive Gustavo Dalinha's exhibition, an artist from Brazilian and Río de la Plata origin, author of a synthesis of different traditions and experiences, accumulated over decades, of cultural exchange with the societies he lived in. I invite you all to share his visions and discoveries.



Emb. Everton Vargas, 2014

Ambassador of Brazil