Ana Cardoso & Merike Estna

MÚRIAS CENTENO. PORTO is pleased to present “The seed can be initialized randomly” a two-person exhibition by Ana Cardoso and Merike Estna. The exhibition is on view from June 25th to July 26th, 2016.

For this show, Cardoso and Estna developed two individual groups of work in parallel, exchanging occasional thoughts throughout the length of a year, since their first meeting. Estna contacted Cardoso and both agreed on producing the show currently on view at Múrias Centeno, Porto, as well as an upcoming show at Temnikova & Kasala gallery, Tallinn, Estonia (2017). Apart from their own works, they were interested in exploring the potentialities of a collaboration made in situ, engaging with local conditions and situations. Their collaboration resulted on a tile panel, a shared ground, literally, displayed throughout the floor of the gallery, both forming and undoing a pattern, mining the gallery space and defining the bodies’ movement.
Cardoso and Estna each work in a singular mode, within the broad medium of painting. Their individual works connect via a certain handling of the medium, namely a type of perform-activity, the actual handling of the painting-object, and an engagement with the history of abstraction. They both share a relation to the all-over, the template, the digital vs. the expressiveness of a gendered language that seeps through the opacity of the medium, the actual material of painting.

Cardoso’s paintings on view are, in formal terms, variations on the format of a single rectangle. The paintings are thus pre-formatted but also generate new outcomes: added parts, cut corners, etc. There are diptychs that induce a three-dimensional reading, even though through a flattened object-hood. Images, drawings, loose notations get framed within this formal process. The reference to virtual pages — the doc or pdf are quoted — creates a metaphor for contemporary painting’s own circulation.

Estna’s works are also variations, mostly centered on a technique that mimics the erasing tool on Photoshop. Her tentative drawings are trailing erasures of painting layers, planned with the help of digital imaging software. Her attention lies on the translation of this simple effacing act into a complicated painting process that randomly enables possible outcomes. Being traditional painting a layering process, the sign of erasure (not actual erasure), questions the medium at its core — where process collides with artifice.

They produced the tiles at Oficinas do Convento in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, following a pattern designed by Cardoso, and derived from some of her modular 3D folding paintings. They painted the tiles following traditional techniques of serial sponging and brush stroking, already present in their own paintings.

Ana Cardoso (born in 1978, Lisbon) lives and works in Brooklyn.
Cardoso’s work is centered on the history of abstraction concerning material process in painting, and its complex relation to the culture of images. Painting is an ongoing performance – her work negotiates between historical referents, conceptual and structural concerns, and distribution modes.

Among other venues, Cardoso has exhibited at: Jablonka Maruani Mercier, Knokke, Belgium, solo (2016); Four A.M., New York, with Tim Pierson (2016); Museu do Chiado — MNAC Contemporary Art Museum, Lisbon, solo (2015); Andrew Rafacz, Chicago, solo (2015); Rachel Uffner, New York (2015); David Lewis, New York (2015); Múrias Centeno, Lisbon, solo (2014); Longhouse Projects, New York, with Christian Bonnefoi (2014); Marianne Boesky, New York (2012); Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, solo (2012); Pedro Cera, Lisbon, solo (2012); Cluj Museum, Romania (2012); Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej, Warsaw (2011); Tate St Ives, Cornwall (2011); Simone Subal, New York (2011); The Barber Shop, Lisbon (2011);  Prague Biennale, Prague (2011); Conduits, Milan, solo (2011);  The Emily Harvey Foundation, New York (2011); Soloway, Brooklyn, with Boris Achour (2011); On Stelar Rays, New York (2010); The Kitchen, New York (2009); Southfirst, Brooklyn, solo (2008); White Flag Projects, St. Louis (2008); Culturgest, Lisbon (2007)

Cardoso’s work is featured in Thames & Hudson’s survey, Painting Now (2015) by Suzanne Hudson; and has been reviewed in art publications such as Flash Art, Artforum, Art in America, Modern Painters, The Brooklyn Rail, NY Arts, Art News, ABC Cultural, Público, among others.

In 2006 she received her MFA from Hunter College — CUNY, New York; in 2002 she received a BFA (Licenciatura) from FBAUL, the Fine Arts University of Lisbon, and in 2001 she attended UdK — Universität der Künste, Berlin.

Merike Estna (born in Estonia 1980) lives and works in London.
The work of Merike Estna is largely invested in the processes of painting, as a way of approaching the artwork as an integral part of life rather than about life. In her process-based work, Estna is embedding patterns and colour combinations from the crafts and applied arts, which have not traditionally been accepted in the visual language of painting. Thus, her work is challenging the masculine territory of painting and questioning the strict visual separation between painting and craft discourses. Initially subjecting canvases to such patterns and application-based treatments, Estna gradually progressed to cover clothes, objects and entire spaces with cottonwool colours, gradually expanding her research into colour and the acts of painting, the possibilities of experiencing and looking at things.

Selected projects: DOMESTICMINDCRAFT, solo, Karen Huber Gallery (Mexico City, Mexico 2016); El part of series of events Cuarto de los Ojos Sucios, performance, Biquini Wax (Mexico City, Mexico 2016); Corporate Jungle, solo, Temnikova & Kasala gallery (Tallinn, Estonia 2015); Genialmythcraft, solo, Palermo Galerie (Stuttgart, Germany 2015); Better become blowing backbeat blanket, instalation, XMarks the Bokship, Matts Gallery (London, UK 2015); Blue Lagoon, solo, KUMU Art Museum (Tallinn, Estonia 2014); So Soft/+ Pure, solo, SmallProjects gallery (Tromso, Norway 2014); V/P: Video and Painting in a relationship, group, Solyanka State Gallery (Moscow, Russia 2014); Spinach & Banana, solo, Winkelman Gallery (New York, USA 2013); Dream Island, Semi Consumable Installation, collaboration with Juste Kostikovaite, Royal Collage of Arts, Jay Mews Hub (London, UK 2013).
She was awarded Konrad Mäe prize, Estonia, 2014 and has been teaching at the Estonain Art Academy as visiting professor since 2013. Her works in public collections include: Kumu Art Museum, Estonia; Tartu Art Museum, Estonia; Loviisa City Collection, Finland.

She has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in painting and from the Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 2009 with the Master’s degree in art practice.