Paying Attention
October 2021
Zaratan Art Contemporary, Lisbon Portugal

“Order seems to come from searching for disorder, and awkwardness from searching for harmony or  likeness, or the following of a system. The truest order is what you already find there, or that will be  given if you don't try for it. When you arrange, you fail.” (Fairfield Porter)

We are glad to announce the opening of Paying Attention, a flash solo exhibition by Lilly Saywitz,  artist in residency at Zaratan. The works presented is a series of paintings on canvas and paper  accompanied by an installation of oil sketches collages.

There are some invisible reference inhabiting the research presented here. From the rural North  American culture resonate the geometric designs of the barn quilts, often hand painted onto a  wooden square and hung from a building, they represent, in their own way, the identity of the farmer  and their family. Also the homemade patchwork blanket are hidden in the imaginarium of the  artworks symbolizing family, resourcefulness, the connection between the past and present, creativity, and heritage.The squared pattern also returns in the encounter with the Portuguese tiles spread all  around the walls of Lisbon.

All these references transposed into Saywitz’s painting practice gain a much more soft and round  aesthetic, escaping geometry toward a more organic direction.

Her works know and purposefully eschew a clear and critical use of the history and vocabulary of  abstract painting.The signs juxtaposed on curved shapes create an unstable field where contradictory  parts and complementary colors coexist, touch, to reconcile apparently incompatible elements. The  open-ended quality of her artworks seeks to expand the subject instead of narrowing it down to a  rigid singularity.

Paying Attention is the culmination of a month of looking at and observing edges, meeting points,  lights and interactions. While the main exhibition is displayed in her studio, an artwork is installed in  the gallery space: a quilt made especifically to welcome the visitors at Zaratan. On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition there will be the release of a risograph poster design by Lilly Saywitz and printed in a limited edition of 25 copies. 
- Gemma Noris co-curator Zaratan Contemporary