Sergio Lucena’s (b. 1963 in Paraíba, Brazil; lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil) practice consists of formal explorations in abstraction that call to mind the experimentations of California Light and Space painting. However, limiting these surfaces to simple tinkering with pigmentation and luminosity would be neglecting Lucena’s devotion to the metaphysical questions his materials and the very act of painting bring forth. For Lucena, the depiction of light in-itself is a challenge not just of technique and craftsmanship with a brush, but rather a spiritual pursuit where every considered decision brings both the painter and audience closer towards a spiritual alterity at its most absolute level through the consideration of light, space, and color.
Lucena’s paintings are coated in misty pastel tones that create a kind of sheer veil the artist refers to as “paint dust.” This egress of dust is of course an illusion which betrays the painstaking layering of paint that Lucena has to compile in order to achieve this representation of a vast expanse of air and space. Lucena’s vespers of dust, bygone spiritual entities composed of light and paint offer his audience passage through the canvas to a hypothetical destination perpetually alluded to, but never explicitly named or depicted in his work.
Lucena has participated in workshops, cultural exchanges and residencies in Berlin (Germany), Washington, D.C. and Denmark with exhibitions in galleries and art institutions in Brazil. In 2012, he won the Mário Pedrosa Prize for 2011 contemporary artist, awarded by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics (ABCA).