After the Rain is a small survey exhibition of paintings selected to introduce Luis Geraldes to the general public of the La Trobe Valley and the Gippsland Region. Geraldes is a prolific artist who has had extensive experience teaching and exhibiting. Born in Portugal in 1957 Geraldes spent his formative years in the Portuguese colony of Angola and fled the Angolan Civil War in 1975 returning to Portugal.
His early works in this exhibition are concerned with the destruction of human lives and habitat in the civil war, pieces of shell casing are incorporated into the surface of the works and the palette is of pallid flesh and blood. The experience of the horror of the war has motivated Geraldes to seek meaning in his life through his art practise.
Luis Geraldes immigrated to Australia in 1985 and became an Australian Citizen in 1987 and had held teaching posts since while continuing his studio practise. Luis has been involved in many Australian exhibitions. However it is in Portugal that Luis Geraldes work is known he holds regular successful exhibitions there as well as exhibiting in Canada, Israel, Spain, France and the United States of America, his work is in both public and private collection in these countries.
Having had the opportunity to visit Luis Geraldes home and studio on the edge of the Strzelecki Ranges in Gippsland, one is impressed by the artist output and his passion for his art. These are well considered works that speak a universal language operating across a broad spectrum of the vocabulary of visual art. Luis Geraldes sees no boundaries, to using and mixing media and genre, abstraction and figuration.
What ever is necessary to provide the message is used and integrated into the body and image of the work. The paintings from the early eighties through to the present day are rich in colour and surface, Thick paint against washed areas are used to reinforce the symbolism of the works. With colour and the universal symbolism of geometry, Geraldes connects to the roots of visual language and by doing this he can cross cultural borders, making his works and their meaning accessible to all.
As the title of the exhibition suggests After the rain we think of clear sky light, clarity, of invigoration and refreshing air. Luis Geraldes passion and commitment to the value of art is indeed refreshing.
We are fortunate to have an artist of such commitment and international experience living within our region and I recommend this exhibition of paintings to you the viewer.