96 X 96 cm (each) – oil on canvas / gilding (metal leaf) and oil on canvas – November 2015
The diptych Atoms explores, in particular, the elusiveness of colours. For that, both paintings have exactly the same tones in exactly the same places, but their backgrounds are different: one golden (gilded with copper and zinc alloy leaf) and one black. Grids in both works are very regular, composed with white cotton threads and placed on top of already treated backgrounds. The metal surface reflects light and has a similar tone to the marks, whereas the black absorbs light and is highly contrasting with the marks. Consequently, the gilded work is extremely dependent on light conditions and viewers’ perspectives. The multiplicity of brushstrokes seems to appear and disappear because marks and surface sometimes appear merged but other times they more distinctively contrast. Conversely, the high contrast between marks and the black background on the other painting separates them into two very distinct layers. Also, as each stroke is enclosed by black from the background, their tones gain strength and presence. Hence, this overall composition presents sharp edges and a clear fragmented nature. Moreover, the threads forming the grid are also blended with the gilded background. On the contrary, the high contrast with the black background forms a third layer, which from a distance resembles a drawing.