Extract ‘The material exercises of Nòvoa’. Cimaises, Arts Actuels. N° 214. Septembre/Octobre 1991. Paris.
Nòvoa is a celt of the two banks of the Atlantic, since he lived the first part of his life in Uruguay. And in his youth he was a horseman of the llanuras between sky and heaven “were distances call out to distances”. Nomad spaces in the immensity, the limitless. Spaces of absence as well: neither human traces, nor objects, nor things. Spaces of the ungraspable, as in a poem by Supervielle, Uruguayan as well:
Do not touch the shoulder
Of the passing horseman
He would turn around
And night would fall
A night without stars…
The two shores of the Atlantic, the two worlds which are now being celebrated on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Colombus discovery of the New Word, Nòvoa has himself linked them in a work he has been labouring over for twenty-five years: a “Wall” in two parts, one in Montevideo, the other in La Corogne; the artist’s crowning achievement, and no doubt one of the major works of contemporary art.
A “wall” that does not separate. A “wall” that unites, like the materialization of some telluric current going back and forth from one continent to the other. Symbolic as well, of Nòvoa’s own destiny, between America and Europe.
“I truly lived with the wall” says Nòvoa of his major work in Montevideo, but it is also true of de “Mural” in La Corogne, whose dimensions are much more vast, and which is till incomplete – but should such works ever be completed?…