In the Philadelphia Inquirer Edith Newhall reports that Queens-based Clara Fialho is the latest Brazilian artist to bring vivid color back to Brazilian painting in her show this month at Bridgette Mayer in Philadelphia. “Fialho’s fanciful paintings search further back for inspiration than Beatriz Milhazes‘ mash-ups of modernism and psychedelic art or Elizabeth Jobim‘s curvy geometric allusions to Yves Klein and late Matisse. Fialho says that some of her images come from her dreams – she subscribes to the theories of Carl Jung – and that her paintings ‘are often the product of a struggle against society’s moral dissipation, a personal disenchantment with the material world around me.’
“But these delicately rendered images of orbs, totems, pinwheels, and jellyfish clustered together in magical landscapes also are reminiscent of the brilliantly colored feathered masks, crowns, capes, and back plates of indigenous Brazilian tribes – ceremonial decorations tied to their creation myths that have been worn by tribesmen for centuries. Occasionally, Fialho’s paintings veer too close to Hundertwasser for comfort; the late Austrian painter of candy-colored, hyper-busy compositions seems to appeal to a lot of young artists. Klee and Miro come to mind, as well. For the most part, though, her visions of paradisiacal places seem unique and genuinely felt.”
Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. Through February 28.