tense release stretch

Solo show
Irène Laub Gallery, Brussels (BE)



José Pedro Croft is a sculptor of space, a draughtsman fascinated by colors, by variations of the engraving process and by the performative gesture.

He opens up spaces and plays with a three-dimensional perception that is almost without volume, visible both in his sculptures and in the flat surfaces of his works on paper. He weaves intertwined threads together, he duplicates grids, he shifts surfaces and superimposes them like panels. He creates tensions, suspends them, stretches them. Angles surge and dynamic boundaries arise. His compositions vibrate and unfold in space.

All of his works release a specific energy that results in a form of writing. The rhythm of his chiseled scores mixes with traces of fluid movements – inks and transparent colored varnishes, or even gouache, applied with a wide brush or a finer paintbrush. These translucent materials, layered one upon the other, unify or densify the structure of the work. The artist’s gesture is the source of another type of jubilation, which becomes even freer and more present in his latest works.

Moreover, these multiple layers working on different scales have the effect of opening up contrasting spaces, particularly in his large formats. Gaps and blank areas are just as present in his drawings as in his sculptures.

José Pedro Croft is particularly interested in the movements and displacements of the body, even the slightest ones. His work has a choreographic structure, in the spirit of Robert Morris and Simone Forti’s performances on folds variations, of Robert Rauschenberg’s and Merce Cunningham’s plays on appearance and disappearance. Repeatedly in the studio, Croft also creates tensions, releases them, stretches them again, like sequences of meditative breathing.

– Gregory Lang



This solo show is part of a larger exhibition programme, entitled PORTUGUESE INCLINATIONS.
The project is supported by the Portuguese Embassy in Belgium and Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua


Read more about José Pedro Croft