Brooklyn-based artist Rebecca Watson Horn’s first exhibition in Brazil brings together six abstract paintings that perform, conceal, and reveal writing untethered to vocabulary or speech. Horn’s work begins with specific words and phrases, but through an alchemical process of distillation her letter-forms become fluid lines, vessel-like volumes, and shapes reminiscent of bodies. The phrases are forgotten, articulation is resisted, the orientation of writing is undermined, original intentions are both obscured and subsumed. Letters become objects: their visual rhymes come the surface as their sound-values and semiotic reference recedes, yet something of their hidden meaning persists with symbolic, spell-like power.
In the paintings shown in the Project Room at Auroras, each letter-shape emits light or casts shadow, as if responding to the rough materiality of their textured surfaces. In the large, free-hanging painting shown in the Library, Horn takes a more graphic approach in dialogue with Amy Sillman’s works in the exhibition. Here the almost translucent, wide-weave grid of burlap suspends her letter-forms in space, suggesting the suspension of language and naming that Horn’s paintings invite in their rejuvenation of visual and verbal apprehension.