Inhabiting the place/space of the studio as a procedure for the construction of the work – the drawing of space in the woodcuts of Fabrício Lopez

Abs­tract: This arti­cle is about the rela­ti­onship betwe­en spa­ce/wor­king-spa­ce/­lands­ca­pe and ima­ge cons­truc­ti­on in the poe­tic work of Fabrí­cio Lopez

Keywords: lands­ca­pe, drawing, woodcut.


The work pre­sen­ted here is based on a sta­te­ment of the artist during an exhi­bi­ti­on at the Pina­co­te­ca do Esta­do de São Pau­lo in 2009, whi­ch is: “the stu­dio is an inha­bi­ting, the natu­re of each and every thing”. This sta­te­ment by Fabrí­cio Lopez remin­ded me of a reflec­ti­on by Anne Cau­que­lin in The Inven­ti­on of Lands­ca­pe (Cau­que­lin, 2007) whe­re she notes the power of our expe­ri­en­ces with lands­ca­pe in our lear­ning of rea­lity, and also the strength of unders­tan­ding the spa­ce of the lands­ca­pe as a con­tai­ner for our moods and desi­res. To reflect, bri­e­fly, on the rela­ti­onship betwe­en the­se two sta­te­ments in the pro­cess of the cons­truc­ti­on of ima­ges by Fabrí­cio Lopez is what is pro­po­sed in this arti­cle. Fabrí­cio Lopez was born in 1975, obtai­ned a bache­lor’s degree in fine arts from FAAP in 2000 and a mas­ter’s degree in visu­al arts from ECA/USP in 2009. He lives and works betwe­en San­tos and São Pau­lo, citi­es in whi­ch he par­ti­ci­pa­ted and acti­vely par­ti­ci­pa­tes in the for­ma­ti­on and main­te­nan­ce of stu­di­os and spa­ces of col­lec­ti­ve pro­duc­ti­on such as Espa­ço Corin­ga, Estú­dio Valon­go and Xiloceasa/Acaiá typo­graphy. The­se col­lec­ti­ve artis­tic acti­ons, as artist and tea­cher, play an impor­tant role in his poe­tic construction.

1. Inhabiting: the studio space and the construction of images

The ima­ges in small and lar­ge dimen­si­ons (figu­res 5 and 6), born from cuts in the wood, from the impact and deli­cacy requi­red by the medium, spe­ak of sto­red objects (figu­re 8), peo­ple, spa­ces, and lands­ca­pes of the artist’s daily life. They mix moun­tains (figu­re 1), roads (figu­re 2), cor­ners of the stu­dio, flowers, tre­es, and also peo­ple who somehow inha­bit the­se spa­ces. The pos­si­bi­li­ti­es of repe­ti­ti­on and supe­rim­po­si­ti­on offe­red by wood­cut print­ma­king are an ins­tru­ment to add to the ima­ge the dis­pla­ce­ment of the artist through spa­ce, betwe­en citi­es and stu­di­os, thus adding time and depth to the ima­ge. The pos­si­bi­li­ti­es of supe­rim­po­si­ti­on, in this case, also add an inti­ma­te view of the spa­ces por­trayed, loa­ded with the acti­on of occupying and get­ting to know them. The spa­ti­al sen­sa­ti­ons cons­truc­ted are inten­se, lea­ding us to think that the encoun­ter with the pla­ce, the spa­ce, the lands­ca­pe are deter­mi­ning fac­tors in the birth of the image.

On the occa­si­on of his 2009 exhi­bi­ti­on at the Pina­co­te­ca do Esta­do de São Pau­lo, in an inter­vi­ew with Claú­dio Muba­rac, published in the cata­log, the artist says:

“The stu­dio is an inha­bi­ting, the natu­re of each and every thing. I like to think of the stu­dio as this place/space to be inha­bi­ted, whe­re the work ari­ses pre­ci­sely from the rela­ti­onship betwe­en the artist and each thing that sur­rounds him: the tools, the points of refe­ren­ce, the col­lec­ti­ons of objects, the lands­ca­pe. For me, inha­bi­ting this pla­ce is the first step in the cons­truc­ti­on of the work, whe­re even on idle after­no­ons, loo­king at the ima­ges han­ging on the wall, lis­te­ning to the birds, the noi­ses of the port ave­nue, I feel this time con­que­red and direc­ted to a poe­tic acti­on. A time that can­not be mea­su­red in valu­es or pro­duc­ti­vity, becau­se it refers to a non-line­ar, sub­jec­ti­ve, and to some extent self-refe­ren­ti­al cons­truc­ti­on. Refer­ring, abo­ve all, to inter­nal con­quests, of the pre­ser­va­ti­on of dre­ams and beauty, of the accep­tan­ce of one­self and the other.” (Lopez, Fabrí­cio. 2009: 41)

The quo­te makes evi­dent the inten­ti­on that acti­on in the stu­dio is to be orga­ni­zed by a sear­ch that gui­des the forms of work, of drawing, pre­ser­va­ti­on of the dre­am and of beauty. To inha­bit this pla­ce seems to mean to fill it with the­se dre­ams, expe­ri­en­ces, and refe­ren­ces, or rather, to occupy it through the acti­on that gua­ran­te­es the pre­ser­va­ti­on of this dre­am in the image.

2. The landscape: space, the container of our moods and daily actions

In The Inven­ti­on of Lands­ca­pe, Anne Cau­que­lin reflects on the pla­ce of cul­tu­ral cons­truc­ti­on of lands­ca­pe in our for­ma­ti­ve expe­ri­en­ces, in our lear­ning about rea­lity. In a move to unders­tand her own cul­tu­ral refe­ren­ces to the orga­ni­za­ti­on of an ima­ge of the lands­ca­pe and thus ques­ti­on its “vera­city” in rela­ti­on to her visu­al expe­ri­en­ces, she spe­aks of the power of lear­ning that comes from our rela­ti­ons with the spa­ce that we orga­ni­ze, hie­rar­chi­ze, and call landscape.

“Lands­ca­pes seem to trans­la­te for us a clo­se and pri­vi­le­ged rela­ti­onship with the world, repre­sen­ting, as it were, a pre-esta­blished, unques­ti­o­na­ble har­mony, impos­si­ble to cri­ti­ci­ze without com­mit­ting sacri­le­ge. Whe­re would our lear­ning about the pro­por­ti­ons of the world and our own limits, small­ness and gre­at­ness, the unders­tan­ding of things and our fee­lings be, then, without it? It is the obli­ga­tory inter­me­di­ary of an infi­ni­te con­ver­sa­ti­on, the vehi­cle of every­day emo­ti­ons, the con­tai­ner of our moods1. (Cau­que­lin, Anne. 2007: 28)
This obser­va­ti­on, together with the unders­tan­ding that our gaze on the lands­ca­pe is also loa­ded with refe­ren­ces left by our ances­tors from their obser­va­ti­ons of the lands­ca­pe, pro­vi­des us with more ele­ments to con­si­der expe­ri­en­ce with lands­ca­pe as a trig­ger in the cons­truc­ti­on of the ima­ge in Fabrí­ci­o’s work.


The acti­on of the artist who tre­ats the stu­dio as a habi­tat, the natu­re of everything and anything to be lived, kept, and poe­ti­cally trans­for­med is impreg­na­ted with the expe­ri­en­ce of spa­ce and the unders­tan­ding of it as a means of com­prehen­ding the dimen­si­on of self and things in the world. The stu­dio as an inha­bi­ting, the natu­re of everything, can also be thought of as the lands­ca­pe that is the vehi­cle of our emo­ti­ons, the wrap­ping of our moods. In another line from the inter­vi­ew, whi­ch was given for the publi­ca­ti­on of the cata­log, Fabri­cio empha­si­zes the power of his childho­od expe­ri­en­ces in the lands­ca­pe of the bea­ch and of his comic book rea­dings and the pro­duc­ti­on of sto­ri­es as a fun­da­men­tal sour­ce of refe­ren­ce for his work as an artist.
“[…] When I was about 11 years old, we would go fishing for crab on the bea­ch, using a puçá, a kind of net and cage with a cer­tain spe­ci­al bait. The youn­gest of the group, by free and spon­ta­ne­ous phy­si­cal con­vin­cing by the elders, in this case me and other pri­zewin­ners, had to go to the poul­try farm and fet­ch chic­ken guts. Some­ti­mes we got lucky and just had to stick our arm in a tin full of scraps, or when the tin was empty, the only way was to stick our hand insi­de the recen­tly slaugh­te­red chic­ken. All this rite was worth every crab caught on the bea­ch, in the days after a storm tide, grey days that would end at a fri­end’s hou­se with a full pot. For me, trai­ning in a more inte­gral sen­se is lin­ked to this con­text, the bea­ch city, the inten­se rea­ding of all and any kind of comic book, soli­tary hours of drawing, and the pro­duc­ti­on of my own stories.(Lopez, Fabrí­cio. 2009: 37)

I return here to another of Cau­que­lin’s obser­va­ti­ons that spe­aks of the impor­tan­ce of affec­ti­ve bonds, for­med by many sen­ses and points of refe­ren­ce, of lands­ca­pe expe­ri­en­ced in childho­od in the cons­truc­ti­on of the ima­ge that we later form of the landscape.


Lopez, Fabrí­cio; Valon­go: xilo­gra­vu­ras de Fabrí­cio Lopez. Org. Clau­dio Muba­rac. São Pau­lo, 2009.
Cau­que­lin, Anne; A inven­ção da pai­sa­gem. São Pau­lo, 2007.

Ynaia Barros is an artist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in Visual Arts from the State University of Campinas (2000). She completed a master's degree (2005) and doctorate (2010) at the same institution, in the area of ​​visual poetics.