Complex Drawings

Gallery Visit: The Complex Drawings of Joshua Cardoso by João Ribas

Looking for meaning in Cardoso’s beautifully articulated, rhizomatic shapes is to fall right into his ruse. Each form is less a text to be deciphered than an endurance test, culminating in an object on which little is read but the effort of its own making, often months of intensive, 12- to 14-hour days.

“I always want the physical investment of my work to be on the surface, with every moment spent making them being present,” he says. “I think drawing is really made to do that, where as painting is self-effacing, it means always looking for that self-effacing perfection. With my drawings, it’s the opposite. I try to accumulate time—they’re almost like a pornography of effort.”

“It’s all about seduction in the end,” Cardoso says. “I don’t believe I should be challenging anyone’s attention span. I try to get right in there, into their path of understanding, and entice the viewer to make sense of things.” [my emphasis]