Lisbon, Portugal,1958


Manuel San-Payo’s work is essentially indebted to drawing in its evident graphic component. Keeping a disciplined daily drawing practice of everyday observations for decades, even the abstract dominant of his work sustains a latent conflict with the figure and figuration that is always around, underlying or in suspension. In the series here on display, “Portable Planets and Other Ruins”, he returns to an apparent figuration, anchored in stone. Moment of an essential, timeless cycle, the stone is an existential place / support but also a stratigraphic record in which the temporal scale of the human and the universal dissolve. The artist found in this theme an intimate relationship with engraving and registration, not only in the conceptual aspect of the word (lapis, line, stratum) but also in the direct practice of using graphic tools and media closely related to this reality – the coal, graphite, the line, the incision. Gravitas / Levitas.