The initials in the title cipher the name of Santa Maria, a liner that was highjacked by Henrique Galvão to draw the attention of the international community to the political situation in Portugal. This painting initiates a new moment in Portuguese art. This episode is narrated by signs arranged within a strict orthogonal grid and have been orchestrated onto an agitated watery-green background where the optical centre corresponds to the centre of the painting. Rodrigo uses three primary colours over the background in shapes that have been drawn in elevation, plan or cross-section, rendering an efficient synthesis of information. The image assumes a signifying value that enables the painting to function like the writing or narrative of episodes, marking the painting as a register that lies open to the world and its contingencies. Graphic signs are jumbled with other visual signs in articulation with the written pictographic dimension of Joaquim Rodrigo's work.


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