Thursday, December 09, 2010

Abstract Art Collection Millennium bcp

In 2003 she launched the Millennium bcp brand, the result of successive mergers of several financial institutions in one group, linking history and heritage in a unique collection. Became part of him that came via the Portuguese Commercial Bank, line matrix and renewed based institution, New Network, Atlantic, and through him, Bank Commercial de Macau Bank Mello and Bank Pinto & Sotto Mayor. But the unique collection of artistic goods have passed over the years, also to make part of many goods that were incorporated as a result of mortgages, donations or purchases.

It is also the perception of multidimensional long narrative that is told through works of art, embodied in the choices of the works gathered here today and not by chance, under the theme of Abstraction, released through the core issue of works by Vieira da Silva and his contemporaries but that allowed a strengthening of visibility and dialogic reading with other nuclei present in the collection copyright Millennium bcp. Although it is notoriously absent in the collection of artists such as Fernando Lanhas for a more detailed review of the concept, it can create many situations of encounter between an approach borrowing from the experience of geometry, in which the rigor of the strokes to be confused with the symbolism of the vocabulary and appearance of the most convulsive gesture. Accordingly, and based on the suggestion to build in the works of Vieira da Silva, its landscapes meticulously organized or emotionally dysfunctional in raptures trace energetic and creative, was divided into two and the choice of exhibition space. Having such a prominent figure of geometric abstraction Nadir Afonso, brought to the route experiences grounded in the use of geometric symbols, the texture of its rhythms, chromatic and formal work that organizes. These proposals will reshape years later, in works such as Fernando Aguiar, making these elements of a vocabulary building visual poetry, or of Pedro Casqueiro in structure jarring screens.

The construction of meshes compositional element as the founder of painting or drawing is a recurring element that we find a suggestion in urban TOM graphics, support unstable equilibrium in the austere Angelo de Sousa, optical generator rhythms Eduardo Nery or inquiring of building space image with Artur Rosa. Among them were two key moments in this core work. One that brings together three paintings by Fernando Lemos, an artist whose pictorial intervention and its exposure was diluted in the face of photography and applauded their approval. Works are not seen for so long and which have had an accurate restoration work by specialized techniques and students of the Faculty of Science and Technology, New University of Lisbon in a fruitful partnership between the university and the Millennium bcp. The other, also operated upon for this exhibition brings together the work of Jorge Pinheiro, an artist of uncommon erudition in the seventies that embodies screens as large, chromatically uniform across the length over which scores are suspended fragile, as if a mapping or coded language of songs and silences it were. In connection with these works, we can still find works of Antonio Palolo, Eduardo Batarda and Manuel Cargaleiro.

But if the abstraction is generated in relation to the real, the desire to rescue the action on immobility, crossing the recognizable, the mimetic, the paradigm of figuration and to the environment that operates with an engine-building image, she has the greatest expression of the idea go. That is what is on the screens of Vieira da Silva or Nadir Afonso. But also on chromatic explosions Manuel D'Assunpção, dramatized in the visions of Nikias Skapinakis. A whirlwind of intensity gesture which acknowledges the work of Arpad Szenes, the delicate constructions of Andrew Lanskoy, paintings by Paula Rego accumulation in lacerations of Mário Cesariny envisioned in asparagus Antonio Areal.

There is, in many of these works, a landscape slowly disorganized or suggestion instead, recomposed away from what is recognizable. A sort of meeting between the visible and the inward journey with maximum expression in the exploration of matter of the painting. Zao Wou-Ki when they do happen the day of registration in a pictorial diary of sorts, in compositions of major and vibrant color palette, which is observed has the ability to focus on themselves a long history (personal and political, pictorial, graphic) in brief boost. The same applies to Manessier, even with the structural character of the spot stroke made it presents a mix weight that Zao Wou don’t have. It is one of the most important works of this core, built in the image of retable panel at the height of a moment of spiritual ecstasy. Another is the composition of Serge Poliakoff, great work, as in the formal ingenuity of its composition, the way the material and color are worked. It was one of the paintings restored for this show, the pair of Augusto Barros and Luís Demée.

At the tension between figuration and abstraction, making this productive meeting ground of creation, are the paintings of Louis Dourdil. But the figures also abstracts Júlio Resende Júlio Pomar or, here put into dialogue with the dark visions of Justino Alves and landscapes of blazing Menez and Teresa Magalhães.

Rather than create watertight compartments in reading the works were concerned with making the space as organic as possible, open to the discoveries of the viewer, suggesting more than a tight timeline, and unpredictable encounters mutual meanings.
Les chemins (paths) from Vieira da Silva, entry, set the tone...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Manuel Pereira da Silva
Woman, 2001
Plaster on aluminum structure


Manuel Pereira da Silva
Family, 1958
Plaster on aluminum structure


Manuel Pereira da Silva
Volume, 1961
Plaster on aluminum structure


Manuel Pereira da Silva
Untitled, 1962
Plaster on aluminum structure


Manuel Pereira da Silva
Maternity, 1965
Plaster on aluminum structure

Photos of the exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction"

Video of two sculptures by Manuel Pereira da Silva

In this video we can see two sculptures by Manuel Pereira da Silva, "Volume I" 1961 and "Woman" of 2001.

Video of the exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction"

In this video we see the Director of the Casa-Museu Teixeira Lopes, Delfim Sousa, presenting three sculptures of Manuel Pereira da Silva to de President of Millennium BCP Bank, Carlos Santos Ferreira, the Secretary-General of the Foundation's Millennium BCP, Fernando Nogueira and art historian and curator of this exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction" Raquel Henriques da Silva.

Exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction"

Casa-Museu Teixeira Lopes, after a period of closure for major refurbishment supported by EU funds, opens its doors on November 16, 2010 with the inauguration, by 18 hours of the exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction".

In this exhibition will be on display some sculptures of Manuel Pereira da Silva.

This exhibition, sponsored by a prestigious bank institution, which aims to highlight the important national artistic heritage, as well as contribute to the cultural enrichment of the country, brings together a selection of 74 paintings representing the abstraction Portuguese and foreign.

Covered with great interest by the diversity of exhibited works, of which highlights a significant core of copyright Portuguese painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, with twelve paintings. Beyond this, we stress the presence of works by the following artists: Alfred Manessier, Andrew Lanskoy, Angelo de Sousa, António Areal, Antonio Palolo, Arpad Szenes, Bual Artur, Artur Rosa, Augusto Barros, Eduardo Batarda, Eduardo Nery, Fernando Aguiar, Fernando Lemos, Jorge Pinheiro, Júlio Pomar, Júlio Resende, Justin Alves, Luis Demée, Dourdil Luis Manuel Cargaleiro, Manuel D 'Assumpção, Cesariny, Menez, Nadir Afonso, Nikias Skapinakisl, Paula Rego, Peter Casqueiro, Serge Poliakoff Teresa Magalhães, Zao Wou-TOM-Ki.

The Art Shared Exhibition don’t leave out the youngsters. Millennium BCP, Casa-Museu Teixeira Lopes and Gaianima, EEM, launched a contest called "Discovering Collection Millennium BCP" which proposes the creation of creative works from the works on display at the exhibition. The top three entries will be awarded individual and team prize will be for the Class of school work to do in presenting creations of "Shared Art".

The show will be open to the public until January 30, 2011 and admission is free, and where the guided tours on Tuesdays, from 14:00 to 17:00, Wednesday to Friday, 10:00 to 17 h00 and Saturday Sunday and holidays from 10:00 to 17:00.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mirror of the world: a new history of art

Julian Bell, himself a painter, interprets art from the standpoint of the creator, trying to establish a rapport between the viewer and the artist. Its purpose is to encourage the viewer to, first, look at the artwork, and only then, equate the essence and meaning. Challenge us here to look at art as a reflection - mirror - the human condition.

Mirror of the World traces the evolution of visual arts through time and space, breaking down boundaries between tribes, nations and religions, giving us an analysis - and cross-cultural - the diversity of works of art and how these may relate to from or even rooted in each other and in their social and political contexts.

Humans tell stories, and humans make objects to dazzle the eyes. Sometimes, these stories relate to those objects. This kind of narrative, which is called history of art, born from the desire to imagine how someone would live in another time, and be amazed at what these hands have done. Art historians have also tried to explain why objects are made of different ways, depending on the time and place. That is what this book intends to do.

But a report of this type has an inherent difficulty. A work of art seeks to capture and hold our attention: a story of art pushes forward, paving the way through the territories of the imagination. In an art history of general scope, like this, the voltage can be constant. At each step, the narrator and the listener will feel the desire to have a little more and look longer.

Why then insist on this model? We live smothered by images. Worldwide, streets and screens offer a diverse jumble of visual information and rambling. We are confronted with an amalgam of quotes art - Japan century. Nineteenth-century France, Thirteenth-century Rome XVI, Aboriginal Australia - and it would be good to know the vocabulary where it came from what. And it would be good to understand your grammar. How they interact images? How are rooted in the experience of others? What we have in common with the perpetrators?

Questions like these lead stories, not scientific certainty. The story below is told by someone in England in the early twenty. XXI, which tries to encompass thousands of items of clothing on six continents, hoping that on this basis, the reader can continue their own stories. It's more a general introduction to objects and subjects of art history than a comprehensive set of conclusions about them. Do not want to define or redefine what constitutes art, but describes its range of content commonly accepted. The aim is more amplitude than the depth, the opening than be precise.

However, the method of this work could be considered to be relatively thorough. The narrative is woven around objects that have a large reproduction seems good result on the page. The art is not just a question of image compact and easy to fit, although the reader may have that impression here. In this respect, I must admit a personal bias.

I undertook this task after a lifetime of painting. As such I have a habit of being in a room before a given subject that I hope will have a life and stick to a speech of their own. In this work, I see the images the same way: the kind of art on which it focuses less on what is around us - an environment, buildings, decorations, utensils, clothes, jewelry - than what we face, from painting up to the statues and monuments. The immobility of each image introduces another limitation to the discussion.

In writing this report, I worked under three general rules. First, if there is no way to show one thing, it is better not to refer. Choose something like three hundred and fifty works to encompass the history of world art means a difficult balancing act. Many will be disappointed with what was left out, others upset that I mention too many names, without giving them a face. When necessary proved to mention the name of some important figure or phenomenon that cannot be illustrated, I opted for a policy of "looks a lot like". In other cases, preferred to ignore what I cannot offer.

Second, keep the chronological sequence. This directive advantageous for the reader not always proved possible at all, because the analysis varies from one country to another, but I hope that, if working, have a perspective of contrasts from region to region, as well as the affinities between cultures.

My title, Mirror of the World, suggests a third of my premises. I understand the history of art as a frame within which we continually reflected universal history in all its breadth - and not as a window that opens to an independent aesthetic realm. I admit that the records of the changes are related to artistic records of social changes, technological, political and religious, however reversed or reconfigured show that these reflections.

The mirrors can only work with the light they receive, although they may show us things in a different way. My title also indicates what I believe - that the works of art can reveal otherwise invisible realities and act as frames of truth. However, it is mostly the way these objects are made, not its final status, which will dominate the story. The main reason why I got interested in the history of art is the fact that she seemed to make me closer to some extraordinary things and the people who made them.

Questions, confluences

Europe, 1909-1914

Because in reality, the art consists of objects created so refined, is not it? Objects that demonstrates its intrinsic value: that is not what the market wants? Thus, any artist should create a niche for professional products, whatever their mode of expression.

The "imitation of nature", an old European recipe for paint, no longer relevant.

The doctrines of the "new era" gained momentum and visibility with the arrival of the century. XX. By 1910, several raids were on the march in pure visual music, the "abstraction," among the artists of Eastern and Western Europe - the Czech and Lithuanian Frantisek Kupla Mikalojus Ciurlionis, to mention just two. The moment of rupture of Kandinsky, as he describes it, occurred when he entered the studio one night and saw a bridge over the "image of elusive and glowing beauty who posed no identifiable subject." Did not recognize one of his vibrant landscapes, which was on its side. From that moment on, filed Kandinsky, the painting could go without representation. The visual elegance that pervades composition VII his masterwork of 1913, undoubtedly inspired by the Russian folk ornaments, with its lovely colors, however, he insisted, all the elements dictated by the spirit, and were filled with symbolic intent.

The visible world is not simply evaporated in the new art. Their essences had been distilled and freed, as formulas with which one could build a new pictorial universe. They were not only those things that the eye loves to do: recognize contrasts discern images and limited ways, wander, focus and twist, dip in intensity of color, rush and jump to the side. During a concentrated period of four days, the brush of Kandinsky raged on the huge canvas of three meters, with the joyful innocence of a bee to explore a flower.

Short of sight, beyond sight

Europe, USA, 1920-1940

So then, these were some of the tears of the world's leading artists after traumatic wars and revolutions of the 1910s: a series of new - and mostly "harder" and leaner - colors, meaning open. The hypnotic power of what came to be known as the "culture industry": Hollywood, advertising, photojournalism, etc. Plans progressive reduction of visual, the idea of revolution of the masses on the Left, the uncompromising desire to break with all previous forms of human experience. And in contradiction with this, or blending with it, the yearning for stability, restoration and tradition. In this part and the following will make a visit to the ways in which a few artists and groups have made their way through all these pressures.

Other initiatives of the twenties reflected the Russian constructivism. In the Netherlands, formed a group of avant-garde design around the magazine De Stiff in 1917, while in Germany Walter Gropius created the seminal progressive and social design when he founded the school known as the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1912. In both projects participated painters. Piet Mondrian was one of the most important members of the Dutch group, like many visitors to Paris for ten years, this landscape and theosophy had been inspired by the experiments of the Cubists. Than Picasso and Braque had done suggested one could systematically examine the clues that gave us the vision. Was willing to cut the components of the images of landscapes such as Brancusi silhouetted their figures, and with similar intent: the closer one is its simplicity, is closest to a spiritual ideal. In 1920, he was with an absolutely minimal signs of grammar: vertical lines, horizontal lines and primary colors. The sequence of the holdings that led to this abstraction seemed to proceed with an inexorable logic reduction.

Piet Mondrian, Composition I: with red, black, blue and yellow, 1921

From that moment the only way forward was to start building again. In Composition I: with red, black, blue and yellow, 1921, Mondrian asked the eye that has focused in their own ability to judge the relationships and balances, and their own desire for clarity. Initially, the exercise seems vigorous, fresh, stunningly cold (like this old Dutch resurfaces by austerity that we saw earlier in Vermeer). And then slyly begins to conquer. The closed rectangle in the center and its larger cousin in the upper left of the address space to dance, and everything seems to revolve around him, as if they were catalyzing a chemical reaction, an explosion of order. The red, black and yellow open to the world beyond the edge of the frame, projecting through redesigned the dream that you liked De Stijl was undefined spaces that are out. Perhaps the abstraction was in fact a parallel with the newly created figurative painting, a more potent to induce illusions.

The Bauhaus in Germany, had hoped to get an honest progressive and established standards for a clean design lines, ergonomically efficient than would be replicated across the world. However its internal history, over 12 years of operation and change of location, varied because of the excruciating tension between the charismatic host of innovators who were there. One was Vasily Kandinsky, who joined them with a friend who had met in Munich before the war, Paul Klee. Klee - a dry and obstinate presence personnel - carried out a visual investigation honored with enormous implications. Would give the democratic aspirations of the school a whole new level of resilience.

Paul Klee, Twittering machine, 1922

Like Kandinsky, Klee mattered to him relate the painting to music, but brought a more analytical intelligence to the subject. Like Mondrian, Klee separated and isolated the fundamental components of conducting a painting. But in your hands is converted in a box of playthings. Played by testing many things without limits. In his drawings and watercolors, logical thinking academic stretched a hand and communed with the anomalies of the imagination alone, who discovered the dignity and scribbles a resonant power in the fragile and wobbly. Klee's investigations were on par with those of psychology, a science that was expanding. From 1900 onwards, the researchers had opened his eyes to the children's art and the mentally ill. A kind of empathy turns the charm of a crazy experiment, pen and watercolor as machine chatter: in a sense, anyone take a chance to put their imagination on paper, whether skilled or not, is venturing into the absurd. The title contains that Klee had found himself doing: a device that geometric flowers organically, by clicking on a song. In fact, this sheet of 1922 is installed with a reciprocity between the hard and soft that it had begun to resonate through the field of "advanced" art. It is a masterpiece of innocent echo much wider and infinitely cooler than the absurd sexual mechanical Duchamp devoted his ingenuity between 1915 and 1923, called the Large Glass, one of the great black hole that absorbs all of the interpretation of modern art.

Klee and Mondrian, with his desire to re-educate the eye, seem to cast doubt on any possibility of painting based on observation.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Universal Art History of the XIX and XX century

The abstraction will definitely be the great achievement of the XX century sculpture. Abstract art, without any specific meaning, shaped in three dimensions, allowing your gaze total, around, in all its facets and perspectives, turning on its axis, allowing the sculpture will develop a variety of ways and possibilities, and full fruit - except for color, which will be replaced by the type of material, although in some cases the paint is applied to the sculpture as a termination. The abstract sculpture, very similar to the architectural modules of the XX century, but without the functionality and size, the scale is much smaller, space conquest also the basis of the combination of modules and elements predominantly geometric, with density, design and related volumes, concatenated, which will show the actual value solidified material, standing in a vacuum, denser air, settling in an allegorical space in the same way that the paint adheres to the tissue. It thus suggesting a sculpture full of strength and attraction, eminently tactile, woven with metallic materials, organic or inorganic.

In short, for Ana Maria Preckler, XX century sculpture, results rich and varied, a large fertility and creativity, following the vanguard found their own paths, such as abstraction, where you find and hold its majority, a total and absolute fulfillment.

The Second Half XX Century

The Abstract Sculpture

Abstraction was the great achievement of the XX century, movements that constituted the historical vanguards brought the greatest creation, originality, and artistic innovation, changing its structures, proceeding to the moral destruction of traditional art and his amazing reinvention. Starting from Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, which were the pillars upon which it is impressive artistic change, this set of avant-garde movements had to be shut down and formulated in Fauvism and its anti-conventional variety of colors in Cubism, and rupture of the fragmented reality; in Futurism, which shaped the sequence, the dynamics and movement, Expressionism, which had a print man's spirit, in Dada, who idolized the absurd and the object of desire; in Surrealism, who played the subconscious the pictorial way, and abstraction, which broke even more.

Louise Bourgeois (1911 -)

Coming from France, Louise Bourgeois is the North American nationality, a country that arrived in 1938. His artistic training happens in Paris, his birthplace, the Ecole du Louvre, The Academy of Fine Arts and The Academy Julian. He began his work in painting in the decade to reach the forty to sculpture, which unfolds his true vocation, acquiring great fame in his adopted country. His style evolved from the enlarged sculpture, with notes surreal, preferably in painted wood, up to inconcrets forms, anthropomorphic and reports on matters more solid as bronze and stone, which unleashes your imagination and fantasy. From its first production: Spring, 1946-48, bronze painted in white, enlargement and bulbous forms Sleeping Figure, 1950, wooden, primitive, semiabstract.

Richard Serra (1939 -)

Abstract sculptor North American close of minimal art by the grandeur of his compositions, which usually includes a sculpture in her surroundings, turning it into a part of the architecture or nature in which it lies. In its production, uses industrial materials, we highlight: Right Angle, 1969, his series of Prop, quadrangular lamina in vertical construction on the terrace of a wall in the center of which juxtaposes a tape at a right angle with rounded edges.

Max Bill (1908-1994)

Architect, abstract painter and sculptor Max Bill was born in Switzerland in Zurich and studied first at the School of Arts and Crafts, and shortly thereafter the German Bauhaus Dessau, where it relates to Gropius, Moholy-Nagy, Kandinsky, Klee and Albers, receiving his rationalist influence. It also has a relationship with the Dutch Neoplasticism by Mondrian and Vantongerloo, belonging to the group "Abstraction-Creation" of Paris, in which he focuses his entire artistic career to the constructivist geometric abstraction. It is considered a pioneer of abstract sculpture, performing with great freedom and without regard to rigid structural frameworks, using motion and curved line on some sculptures. In 1951 he obtained the Prize for Sculpture Biennial. Among his sculptures are: Endless Loop, 1947-49, corrugated tubular shape, simple and elegant.

Minimal Sculpture

Minimal Art was a form of sculptural and painterly geometric abstraction of such monumental despite their main condition of sculpture can enjoy themselves with their authors in the section of the Latest Trends in Contemporary Art in the general context of the painting, since these currents latest trends and extremes produces a differentiation between the sexes.

The Abstract Sculpture in Spain

As with abstract painting in Spain produces a real outbreak of sculptors in the chain, some of which may be termed extraordinary. Only Spain alone could fill the pages of the history of pictorial and sculptural abstraction, such is its richness, variety and originality, no wonder the principles Picassian Cubists were the origins of abstraction, but also the Hispanic print, the force of race, the fertile artistic streak Spanish accumulated over the centuries that shaped the early twentieth century, in virtually all styles and avant-garde, a distinctive art. Abstract sculpture in the second half of the century not just schools, only independent individual figures that stand out for themselves, and surprised by how many different shapes and styles that each of these artists can give a unique art as abstract as arid and austere at times.

Some of the most significant abstract sculptors of the generations that occur in the second half of the century, as a show of abstract sculpture of two types: the one corresponding to the first generation of abstract sculptors, artists were created in the first third of the century, and works in which matter However the following form and sculptural tradition, changing the nature of figurative to abstract, and the sculpture of the second generation, whose artisans are born in the second third of the century, in which matter is multiplied, and introducing new combinations of all sorts of elements (with abundance of organic material), and the way it expands in space, breaking the previous formal unity, sometimes doing architecture, sometimes air suspensions and other installations of great complexity whose pieces spread through soil, and some other inconcret morphologies of nature, pseudo-organic, a versatile and imaginative variety.

Enbil Jorge Oteiza (Orio, Gipuzkoa, 1908 - Donostia, Gipuzkoa, 2003) was a famous sculptor, designer, painter and writer Basque, born in the region of Navarra.

Modernist declared, in 1962 published the book Quosque tandem, which dealt with the prehistoric art in the Basque Country, during which much was inspired.

Of great importance to Spain and ultimately to the Basque Country, his works can be seen in the best museums of your country and Europe. The disarrangement of the space, for example, one of his best known works, is now exposed at the Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.
At their inception, Oteiza makes figurative work in which one perceives the influence of Henry Moore, for his return from Spain introduces herself completely in the path of geometric abstraction, with a free personal creation, influenced by the Master of Suprematism, Malevich .

Palazuelo Pablo de la Peña (Madrid, 6th October 1916 - Galapagar, Madrid, 3 October 2007)

Palzuelo, another large abstract sculpture of geometric forms that his work of great beauty of line and modeling, in the most advanced of its kind and poetic. The clean geometric lines, elegant and soft, finely drawn, modernity and beauty of great design, the basic geometric forged steel plates in laminar, with angles, plans, sections and meetings of great simplicity and play of light and shade; blades gently curved and the modules in L; Interception of plans found are some of the predominant characteristics of his sculptural work.

Eduardo Chillida (San Sebastián, January 10, 1924 - San Sebastian, August 19, 2002) was one of the most famous sculptors and engravers Spanish modernists. Along with Jorge Oteiza, Chillida is considered the most prominent sculptor in the twentieth century.

The tradition of Pablo Picasso, after abandoning his studies, he entered into a drawing course and starts, finally, to carve iron.

In 1948 he moved to Paris, where he became friends with Pablo Palazuelo, who influenced him deeply in his career, giving him a taste for abstraction.

Chillida sculptural abstraction applies to maximum strength, strength, structure and free expression, and in contrast, the maximum beauty, delicacy and poetry, which has already done since their early days in their beautiful titles. Large structures Chillida, full of poise and strength, rise up as volumes in space of freedom, the embrace solidified with air. Its buildings, never rigid in form, always free and moved about linear design, the alternate geometric compositions of lines and curves, projecting into the void and changing all laws of gravity, with the boldness of the sculptor poet who in his desire to sublimate the material, make it light enough to skim the intangible. Chillida is one of the greatest sculptors abstract Hispanics, emerging only in his climb to the impossible, in his work has a lot of poetry, a poetry that could link with the German poet of the sublime and the impossible was Rainer Maria Rilke, and much of musicianship that he had composed another superb German, Bach, with which the sculptor is identified, as has much of the thinking, perhaps by her attraction to Goethe and Heidegger.

Earlier in his career he used materials like wood and iron. But when he begins to explore abstract art, begins to concern itself with the most diverse materials as stone and light.

Six years later held his first solo exhibition, this being the first show of abstract sculpture held in Spain. After this exhibition, is invited by architect Ramón Vázquez Molezún to participate in the Triennial of Art in Milan, Italy, receiving then the Diploma of Honor.

Participated in 1959 in the second Documenta in Kassel.

In the 1970s, Chillida is dedicated to observe nature in search of information about the shapes and colors of plants and inspiration, and since the 1980s, begins to reconcile his art with natural areas, and minority, urban.

In 1987, it is academic of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and two years before his death, one realizes their dream, opening a museum dedicated to him, the Museo Chillida-Leku.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Primitivism, Cubism, Abstraction: The Early Twentieth Century (Modern Art: Practices and Debates)

This book was originally published in 1993 by Yale University Press in association with the Open University.

This is the second in a series of four books about art and its interpretation from the mid-nineteenth century until the late twentieth century. As a series, composes the main texts of an Open University course, modern art: practices and debates. They represent a variety of approaches and methods characteristic of the contemporary debate about the art history.

The chapters in this book consider aspects of visual and artistic culture of Europe from 1900 until the late 1920s. Though organized chronologically, each chapter investigates a period or art movement of the early twentieth century in relation to theoretical issues and broader issues of interpretation. In developing questions are raised about research and historical methodology, as well as on the status of "art."

In chapter three, Charles Harrison considers some problems of interpretation and evaluation made by specific examples of abstract art, exploring some of the relationships and differences between forms of figurative and abstract painting. He discusses the need to give attention to specific historical building on the career of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, while the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is considered in relation to the analysis of valuation.

Abstraction, figuration and representation
Abstract and abstraction

This essay deals with primarily the emergence of forms of abstract art in Europe during the second decade of the century, and some problems of interpretation and evaluation that they raise. Talk about "emergence" is affirming that these were somehow new forms of art. To understand the significance of some claims made on behalf of abstract art, we must first assess what is involved in a particular moment in history, in meeting the terms "abstract" and "art."
The term "abstract" is now widely used, and since the beginning of the XX century was applied as a label for many different art forms. When writing about art, the related term "abstraction" tends to be used in two related but distinct senses: to refer the case of certain works of art, the property of being abstract or "non-figurative" and to refer to the process by which certain aspects of themes or motifs are emphasized in works of art over others.

156, Vasily Kandinsky, Painting with Red Spot, 1914, Musée National d' Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

The illustrations 156-159 show examples of abstract art in the 1910s to 1920, produced by artists of Russian-speaking Czech, Dutch and Swiss. In describing these works as abstract implying that, whatever its appearance, the thing that they seem not to be explained by reference to a theme represented. Despite some obvious differences, they have that in common.

157, Hans Arp, Collage, 1916, Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel.

In fact, although in everyday use we refer to works with "abstract" in the absence of any obvious similarity with the world, might happen to be seen as an abstract work not because it does not look like anything, but because its theme or subject is difficult to identify. And this may occur because a process of abstraction led to the suppression of certain easily recognizable characteristics of the original theme. In 1932, the English painter Paul Nash referred to Picasso as "the greatest of all abstract painters." We call this a sense of "weak" of abstraction, since, according to the most stringent criteria to be applied in this test, no one could say that Picasso did not even an abstract painting during his long activity as a painter. Moreover, the processes of abstraction that he practiced on his themes were often those that made it difficult to understand exactly how these issues were represented in his paintings. It is easy to see that a Picasso painting as Fiddler, the summer of 1910, could be understood as an abstract in the weak sense (illustration 159). By comparison, the work shown in the figure 158 could be called the abstract sense of the term that means it is a work that has no apparent desire to be part of a scene or person. She introduces herself simply as a "composition".

158, Piet Mondrian, Composition, 1916, Guggenheim Museum, Nova York.

As we shall see, and like Picasso Fiddler helps to show the weak and strong senses of abstraction are linked both practically and in terms of art history.

159, Pablo Picasso, The guitarist, 1910, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind that while cubism arose in the context of a Parisian avant-garde, most of the first developments in abstract art occurred some distance from the French capital in Germany, Austria, Holland and Russia. Abstract art was not simply a continuation of that form of modern tradition that had its center in Paris during the previous half century. Rather, the idea of painting a "pure" or pointless tended to invest predominantly against the direction of modern French painting, whose strength lies in its sophisticated exploration of the problems of realism and self-consciousness in figurative representation. Certainly, this tradition was an indispensable resource for all artists involved, but it was extended, diversified and changed under different historical conditions and intellectuals of northern and eastern Europe. The resolution of this process, coinciding with the period of I World War marked the beginning of the end of French dominance on the visual forms of modern. While Paris remained an important center until the beginning of II World War in the early 1920s the idea of modern art and design had been associated in many minds with the possibility of a universal aesthetic, and therefore internationally to which forms of abstract painting would provide prototypes and examples.

Abstraction and meaning

The process of abstraction typically emphasizes those aspects of painting that we see as formal. The artist Theo van Doesburg offered a schematic demonstration of the process of abstraction in his book The Principles of New Plastic Art Illustration 160 shows the stages by turning a photographic picture of a cow in a sort of abstract composition - presumably to highlight aspects individually and emphasizing its "essential." There is something patently absurd in the contrast between the first and last image of Van Doesburg. This absurdity was intended or not, the contrast serves to demonstrate an important point about abstract art in general and the possible ways in which it could be interpreted or regarded as significant. In the clash with traditional forms of painting, we are accustomed to being able to compare certain images with the world, to see where they match or not the appearance (or our expectations), and understand types of intention in the resulting similarities and differences. Given the sequence of illustrations of Van Doesburg, we can actually participate in a similar way of comparison. If we are informed of the stages involved, we can quite easily "understand" abstract painting referred to as "cow". This means that we can reconstruct the painting for a casual kind of story that begins, first with a real cow in the world and, secondly, with a set of intentions by the artist. The process of abstraction is, so to speak, the sequence of effects that these intentions have on the image "original" cow is thus implicitly reconstruct a chain of causes, intentions and effects, however strange they might have been.

160, Theo van Doesburg, aesthetically transformed Subject, 1917, Bauhaus-Archive, Berlin.

But if we were confronted only with the last image of the sequence (illustration 161), as could well occur in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he is now painting? Possibly it could see a pattern like a cow, but in no doubt that his title would take much to persuade us that our perception was accidental How else, then we might find meaning in the painting? The question has obvious relevance for the interpretation of abstract art as a whole. In fact, the sequence of Van Doesburg case presents a deceptively sharp. The illustration 158 can be seen as illustrating a similar process of abstraction, and, guided by the example of Van Doesburg, would therefore seem reasonable to assume that Mondrian's Composition in Line for 1916-1917 is in some sense a painting of the sea. But suppose this would imply a continuous connecting it to earlier paintings. This assumption is not that we can do it safely. In the years 1909-14 Mondrian also drew pictures of trees, windmills and church towers. A different sequence of illustrations would seem to connect the last painting a different reason naturalist.

161, Theo van Doesburg, The Cow, 1917, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

If we have to give up information that a sequence of illustrations appears to provide, we should seek another way to repackage an abstract painting to the world of things, and so understand how it was shaped by the artist's intentions? Or should we instead seek meaning in relationships within the painting itself, given the differences between forms and colors the way we hear the words of an unknown language, not to convert them immediately in terms of our own language, but to achieve that form of understanding that must accompany any act of translation as such, an understanding of grammar relevant? Instead of seeking to establish the meaning of the painting by placing it in a system of causes and effects, we consider the meaning as part of that formal system is that painting?

It is true that all types of human representation can be viewed as ordered according to some system. Indeed, call an object of our experience of a form of representation is to say that we perceive it in a form of a more intentional, i.e., an order form that is meaningful and significant human design in human terms. "Human Terms" are inescapably terms of human language. But it does not follow necessarily that the forms in art are like words or words as they are ordered, or that they are in a correspondence with a given word. They are not subject to the same kind of grammatical rules or the same principles of consistency in use and not come together to form language statements or propositions.

Essence, expression, spirituality

As the example of Van Doesburg suggests the idea of abstract as a process tends to involve a kind of essentialism: up at least half of the XX century, joining the trend in modern art abstract - at least in its more clearly geometric - tended to lead to the belief that a more pure, higher or deeper reality is revealed by eliminating the accidental aspects and "inessential "things. This kind of essentialism derives its justification from the Platonic idea that there are universal or fundamental entities of which the things we encounter are simply examples of imperfect or impure. The work of abstract art was, therefore, associated by many of its early practitioners and advocates a kind of "see through", the idea that the artist is the one that penetrates the veil of material existence to reveal a spiritual reality underlying and essential.

In the early years of this century, Kandinsky and Mondrian were both attracted by the ideas of the Theosophists, who taught that human beings evolve in levels of physical existence to the spiritual, and that certain fundamental laws, hidden from the mass of humanity, are revealed to the initiated as philosophers, founders of religions and - perhaps - the artists. By 1915, Mondrian was also strongly affected by Neo-Platonism theories of mathematician Dr Schoenmaekers published that year. Meanwhile, in Russia, Malevich was interested in pseudo-scientific speculation about the fourth dimension.

It is not difficult to see how the development of Mondrian's work may seem to an essentialist search a gradual that universal reality that is supposedly hidden in the accident. In a footnote to his first published essay on art, Mondrian himself explicitly characterized the artist as a kind of medium for the expression of the universal.

If this view is attributed to the artist a kind of prophetic role, it also gives it a special responsibility. Your practice should be exemplary and in tune with the highest degree. The circulation of such ideas (no matter how eccentric they may seem) in the early years of the century may help explain the powerful sense of mission that is transmitted by the writings of Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich. Given the usefulness of the analogy between abstract composition and grammar, and grammar as they rely on the basic condition is to invoke a rational expression, we must not forget that each of the major artists involved in the initial development of abstract art was involved in some period of their training Neo-Platonism and mystical ideas - which means not rational. (We should be warned by the example of choice of Van Doesburg. Why a cow? "What a cow over a set of illusions Neo-Platonism should result in abstract painting is not, after all, a rational idea.)
Style and Meaning

Of course, not all forms of abstract art that presuppose an initial point of view or Neo-Platonism theosophical plausible. Nor is this view that a work of abstract art as necessarily commits itself to essentialism. Is not to exclude all other interests with what the work looks like or how she came to look like it has, nor is it necessarily deny that there may be other categories in which certain abstract works could be located in a more fruitful. Often is more informative look to material differences between the abstract works considered to realize that avoidance of figurative reference that they may have in common. If we want to discriminate between those works that meet the requirements of abstract, we need a range of appropriate subcategories in which to situate them, as well as labels for these categories.

The pictorial space is something we learn to understand, and we do so by reference to other forms of pictorial space. The history of painting in Western culture is largely a history of relevant forms of learning and the ways that learning was made. In his essay "A. And Pangeometry "written in 1925, El Lissisky said" The new optical experience has taught us that two surfaces of different intensity must be conceived as having a variable ratio of distance between them, even though they may be in the same plane ", the" new optical experience "he had in mind had been provided by the work of Malevich and Mondrian.

Another point to note is that the concept of non-figuration as a deliberately assumes that the figurative is what is normally expected. The consequence is that abstract painting depends for its status as art, the expectations created by paintings that are paintings, i.e. paintings by that, because of its resemblance to other things in the world can be seen as representations or illustrations of these things. It follows that the possibility of being seen as abstract paintings (i.e., as potential forms of high art) depends upon our tendency to look at their surfaces as other than purely flat - looking at them, in fact, potentially figurative. As the Greenberg noted, "The first mark made on the surface destroys its virtual plan" ("Modern Painting"), the effect of reading this mark is to split the screen visually and conceptually in "figure" and "bottom", and therefore , so to speak, to create space for any type of content or meaning (even though, again in the words of Greenberg, is not an illusion "in which someone can imagine yourself walking ... (it) is an illusion in which one can only look, just go with the eye. "To this point stating otherwise, it can be said that not only" see "the surface of a painting, we" see inside "surface of this evidence of some kind of intentional activity.

It is the invocation by the abstract paintings of this experience to "see inside", I think, that most strongly distinguished ornament. Abstract art assumes a critical position in front of figurative art, and the actual prevalence in European art and descriptive narratives of those functions that the procedures of figuration help facilitate and develop. But in order to establish this critical position, and to entertain the viewer to experience the real, the abstract work of art must first invoke and implement those same functions that you want to discredit. While we see the plan as Mondrian, we see it as meaningless (or, it may be said, see it as "pure design"). On the other hand, if we see something resembling the world, their identity and purpose as art are compromised. An abstract painting is something that is in place a framework which, however, is not a picture of anything.
Abstraction, design and decoration

Now we are better able to address an issue raised in the opening paragraph. Despite the universal and explicit assumptions of many of the artists themselves, the historically and culturally specific character of abstract art is emphasized when we consider how the two constituents - "abstract" and "art" - depend on each other. It may be useful to consider some counter examples. For example, in Islamic culture in which that less priority to the representative functions of art and more priority to the significance of the pattern or ornament, an art "abstract" does not in itself remarkable. Neither has she deserved any special attention in a culture that had no substantial basis for distinguishing paintings and sculptures from other forms of design and decoration. It is pertinent that theoretical pre-modernists like John Ruskin and William Morris, who wrote in the mid and late in the XIX century, have idealized the medieval period as one in which art and design were indistinguishable with respect to its statutes and aesthetic interests. To these critics, the realization of an abstract art - an "art" that is categorically distinct from "design" - could only have appeared as the realization of his worst predictions. This means that they probably would have seen as an extreme form of that tendency to isolate the "aesthetic" and "utility" which they saw as a negative consequence of industrialization.

In contrast, the modern theory of abstract art by Greenberg assumes that, for better or for worse, the practices of art and design are distinct but not really incompatible. A tension and a growing difficulty in relations between the concepts of art and design, respectively, are revealed in varying critical fortunes of the term "decoration". In the late 1880s, the Symbolists used the concept of decoration to refer to those who saw positive aesthetic values as independent of the requirements description and imitation. For Matisse, writing in 1910, the decorative aspect of painting coincided with its expressive function, in pursuit of which every single component was critically adjusted. In 1910, when presenting his translation of the article about Cézanne from Maurice Denis, Roger Fry wrote of "a new courage to experiment in painting that direct expression of imagined states of consciousness, which has long been relegated to music and poetry." He saw this trend as associated with a "new lease of art, in which decorative elements predominate to the detriment of the representative." Clearly the emphasis was thus placed in a decorative way to affirm the relative autonomy of art forms as vehicles of expression. With the beginnings of practical interest in the development of abstract art, on the other hand, the realization of "mere" decoration became the hallmark of aesthetic failure - or the failure to establish that promise of intellectual and emotional depth that was associated with painting as art form.

The intention to produce abstract art was then an intention to present works not as non-figurative forms of "mere" decoration or ornament, but as forms of modern art - that is, as forms of representation. In reviewing its development in 1913, Kandinsky wrote about the "frightening depth of issues, charged with responsibility," he thought he had before him. "And most importantly, what should replace the lost object?" The danger of ornamentation was clear, the death of alleged stylized could only drive me away. “As we shall see, the intention to produce abstract art was not made suddenly or by an individual who acted alone. She has developed, I think, as a partial consequence of those long-term changes in the relations between "art" and "design", and both with the "figuration," which we can follow along the nineteenth century - changes that are themselves associated, in some theories of modernism, the inception of the modern period in art. That is, the emergence of abstract art was specific to a modern European world in which the mainstream of economic and industrial development was to boost the distinctions between art and design, and between higher and lower forms of art, in which the meaning of high art was usually associated to figuration, and in which the paintings and sculptures were candidates to the status of high art, while examples of design and ornament were not.

A note on abstract art in his time

As noted, the evidence is that the problem of the value of abstract art was a pertinent question in particular the practice of European art at the beginning of the XX century. Why then? Some clues to an answer may extract from the previous discussion, namely, examining the relationship between abstraction and non-figuration. At the end of the century. Century, the practice of critical configuration - the critique of illusion and all that the techniques used to provide the illusionistic art salons and academies in Europe - often tended towards abstraction. The emphasis on "purity" of the potential form was both a means to challenge the traditions in their own merits classicizing Neo-Platonism, as a means to depreciate the superficially descriptive, anecdotal and the imitative. Coincidentally, the idea of a universal reality and the underlying served as a kind of symbolist contrast critical to the burdensome requirement of truth in appearances. Meanwhile, the idea of a spiritual truth served by some as a light which revealed what they saw taking the generally materialistic values of the contemporary world. The initial justification of abstract art not only resorted to criticism well exercised in the traditional way, but also a varied literature of thought "anti-materialist," to which the philosophers Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Wagner the composer, the poet Malarmé, mystics and Ouspensky Madame Blavatsky and many others had contributed in various ways, although not equally. In the early years of this century has won a feature utopian anti-materialism. This means that he was associated with a positive ideal of human potential and human society. In a decade that includes World War, a failed revolution in Germany and a successful in Russia, the new art forms were associated with optimistic forms of opposition to the prevailing political and social order, although not usually organized to socialism.

The idea of abstract art - the vision of a universal aesthetic potential and its extension to the "daily life" - was part of the conceptual apparatus by which certain persons, individually and in groups, have tried in the early XX century imagine your way to a better world. That is, the intention to produce abstract art, though an artistic intention, and was formed in a world that was not simply a world of art.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Geometric abstraction

The book Contemporary Art: Splendor and Agony; of Ilda Rodriguez Prampolini, was written for students of Art History and Contemporary Art at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature at the Autonomous University of Mexico. With this text they would know the art history of the XX century. Starting, of course, to understand his development, with the Impressionists and the approach to historical problems, artistic, aesthetic and moral relevance.

When in 1916, the Dadaists launched his cry of defiance from the Cabaret Voltaire were probably not aware of the profound transformation that began in the artistic production of the western world

In this book, the author focuses on the history of Dadaism, as well as the different artistic movements that preceded and followed it. This work offers a critical appreciation of the evolution of art from the end of the XIX century (Impressionists and Expressionists) to the mid XX century (Surrealists and Abstractionists) in an exhaustive attempt to cover the “entire panorama of contemporary art”.

It is the Abstractionists that we will point out, since they relate to the content of this blog.

The line is a reference for understanding the drawing Manuel Pereira da Silva. You know it creates pure, simple, without flourishes, or waste analytical, full of substance, serious. Manuel Pereira da Silva has the power to simplify the synthesis features and shapes. Easily dominates the formal elements-building: stylistic symmetry, harmony, poetic, aesthetic balance, where the white paper is part of imaginary architecture.

The early modernist sculptures by Manuel Pereira da Silva emerged in the sculptural abstraction of the pioneers in Portugal, admittedly played from the late '40s, in Porto, by Arlindo Rocha, Fernando Fernandez and even a few years later by Aureliano Lima, after their removal to this city. These facts confer the production of abstract Manuel Pereira da Silva, held up with obvious stylistic analogy; in the same period and situation of those living with sculptors, unquestioned framework generation, must be credited.

In fact in the period immediately following World War II, in precisely that which started the career of Manuel Pereira da Silva, there were changes, important in the world of art controversies, including the two largest urban centers in Portugal: the quarrel " classical and modern, "added the debate between supporters of modernity - the neo-realists, surrealists and abstractionists - but was almost always in the studio that some modesty, very few, sculptors restless, rehearsed new avenues for his art, in productions sparsely that became public, and that, beyond a narrow elite, long ignored.

The Abstract Art

Geometric abstraction and constructive

The reconstruction of the world through painting has rarely been a problem so aware, confident and confessed to a series of artistic events that arose at the end of World War I.

No doubt the artists as they embark on the table abstraction, they were driven by a utopian need for spiritual life

Socrates had already stated these issues, the ideal of beauty through the representation of non-living beings, but of solid and plane figures created through the line, circle, etc..:

"Why should I maintain that these figures are not like other beautiful by comparison, but they are always beautiful in themselves and by their nature they seek certain pleasures that belong to them and have nothing in common with the pleasures produced by sensory stimuli."

It is through these signs of unchanging beauty that some artists try to rise above nature and themselves, to recover the art make it the expression in the service of higher ideals.

The 1930 and 1945 seem to be the triumph of geometric art with his Constructivist tendencies of abstract art trends lyrical and spontaneous. Numerous journals are created to disclose the geometric, continuous exposures at galleries welcome artists, exhibiting in legal proliferating, and the art of constructivism seems to oppose their closed forms or "concrete" composed in endless constellations to highbrow games subconscious screaming by the Surrealists absurd.

The Syndicate of Antique Dealers in Paris (1925), the exhibition also Circule et Carré in Paris, the publication of the single issue of Art Concrète performed by Van Doesburg, the group Abstraction-Creation and numerous magazines in various countries are evidence of the emergence of this new ideal language that comes with authentic validity. One of the pioneers of this art seeks to link up with the architecture is, without doubt, the wife and collaborator, the sculptor Jean Arp, painter Switzerland-Arp Sophie Trauner, whose simplified forms rigorous and fair voluntarily come to some niceties powerful proportions wisely experienced and highly intellectual.

In England, the emergence of The Circle, in 1937, organized by the sculptor Naum Gabo, the painter and architect Well Nicholson Leslie Martin marks the impact that the country, heir to the tradition of William Morris, had this constructive formalism, which addressed re-engage the work of art to life and enjoy the new language to speak universally. This crucial sense of communication through universal formulas (abstract and geometric) and not individuals is the impact of constructivist theory adopted by the same Gabo and his brother Antoine Pevsner in Russia 17 years earlier. The intention to establish an art of "pure" form goes beyond perfect aestheticism of "art for art" since the first case; it is the dynamic principle that moves the artist to "rebuild" the world and second to separate not at first, but the purpose of art that drowns itself.

We could hardly exhaust the review of all the artists that are somehow linked to the geometric art. One of the most extreme cases is the Felix de Marle, for whom art collective team and subordinate to architecture is the only position that justifies saving the artist, he shall be given by an art that must collaborate in the streets, cities, joy to live, not an elite, but all men.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Modern Architecture in Portugal

The "Athens Charter" published in 1935, is on the conclusions of the IV International Congress of Modern Architecture, 1933, entitled "Functional City", and resulted in a manifest urban programming, as opposed to the chaos of the Industrial City. The proposals are on the four functions of the City, Housing, Recreation, and Work Movement, measured on a human scale, where the private interest should be subordinate to the public interest.

In Portugal, in 1945, there is the insertion of the chairs "Urbanism" and "History and Theory of Urbanism" in the Courses of Architecture School of Fine Arts, introducing several concepts, such as the hierarchy of road networks the nuclei and steered zoning.

At the National Congress of Architects in 1948, an event concurrent with the exhibition on "Fifteen years of Public Works," which reflected the principles of urban tradition and nationalism emerges in opposition to the idea of a new concept of city, by three architects who stood out in defense of the "Radiant City" and "Athens Charter": Viana de Lima, Arménio Losa and Lobão Vital.

Is it not possible to understand the evolution of Modern Architecture and Urbanism without taking into account their ongoing relationship with the Arts and the relationship between "Art" that during the twentieth century boosted increasingly debates, a conceptual and critical spirit. These influences were manifesting themselves in several variants, either through formal mimicry, or by a methodological and procedural parallelism.

Internationally, there was a period at the beginning of the century, where painters and architects worked side by side with the request reciprocal links to dismantle the inherited tradition. The avant-garde movements of Europe fostered an exchange of results between the experiences of Architects and Painters, which sought to change the cultural conventions.

The Bauhaus, established in 1919 in Weimar, said in his proclamation that was created for "the new building of the future, covering the architecture and sculpture and painting in this unit, and that one day will rise to the skies for more than a million workers like a crystal symbol of a new faith. "

In Portugal, it was found that integration with the adoption of codes of the Brazilian architecture of postwar architectural elements reflecting the work plasticizers, dynamism, joy and desire for freedom. The color is used as part plastic, painted surfaces, or operated through the characteristics of materials

The ceramic panels emerge as a desire to resume a traditional finish, with strong roots in the Culture and Art Deco Portuguese, but a current mode, with a contemporary attitude of "Vernacular Review of the Modern Movement." The tile panels, with speeches by various artists, thought of as a work of art integrated into architecture, they obtain a result of large plastic force in architectural production of the 50s.

In Lisbon stand out in collaboration with Almada Negreiros Pardal Monteiro, and as a remarkable example of "global work", the Block of Free Waters by Nuno Teotónio Pereira, 1956, with a color study of Frederico George, low-reliefs by Jorge Vieira, mosaics of Almada Negreiros and stained glass of Cargaleiro.

Shopping Centre Restelo of Chorão Ramalho, with the collaboration of plastic Querubim Lapa, which together with Victor Palia, intervened in several Primary Schools.

Keil do Amaral developed in Campo Grande to regionalist themes, integrating panels and ceramic sculpture pieces, with the sense of an idea of "Public Art": a mosaic of Julio Pomar, a sculpture by Canto da Maya and a ceramic Jorge Barradas.

In Porto, the students in all courses, Architecture, Painting and Sculpture, lived together intimately, not only because they have common history, and because of the three arts are considered inseparable. There was discussion of Modernism in art, and a latent nonconformity in relation to teaching classic. There are numerous examples of close collaboration of Artists in works of architecture.

Apart from that will be mentioned in more detail, we have the Amial House, designed in 1953 by Celestino de Castro, with a color study of Julio Pomar.

Also there are some partnerships between architects and artists, with some longevity, and proven with many testimonies as Arménio Losa with Augusto Gomes, José Carlos Loureiro and Agostinho Ricca with Julio Resende, Carlos Neves with Manuel Pereira da Silva, Julio de Brito and Rogerio de Azevedo with Henrique Moreira.

Interventions of this sculptor, pupil of Teixeira Lopes in Oporto Academy of Fine Arts, a current proto-modernist, occurred in various collaborations with Rogério de Azevedo, as we have seen in buildings of “Comércio do Porto” newspaper and the Hotel Infante Sagres in a model where the architecture serves to support the sculpture, also experienced in refurbishing the Rivoli Theatre, Julio de Brito in the 40s, the interior painted plaster friezes and cornice in low relief, which also collaborated the sculptor Manuel Pereira da Silva.

This partnership with Rogério de Azevedo, also are his own in 1947, a marble bas-relief in the Rialto Building, a marble bust of João de Deus, in the Garden School of the Constitution, and a sculptural element in bronze and granite in the Garden of Passeio Alegre, a tribute to Raul Brandão.

In addition to various different sculptures that punctuate public spaces in the city, in their creations for the buildings are: the "Eagle" in bronze, of the “Café Imperial” in 1936, the "Indian" in “Café Guarany”, a low-relief in marble, in the Chapel of N. S ª de Fátima a low-relief in marble, in 1939, low-reliefs in granite for the Exchange of Fish by Januario Godinho and the Cod Refrigerator, a low-relief in Stone of the St.º António Congregados Church, in 1949, low-reliefs in stone for the N. S ª da Conceição Church between 1945 and 1949, and 1957 for the Oporto City Council.

All these examples of the work of Henrique Moreira follow a more classic model of integration of Sculpture in Architecture.

In building the Silk Factory, in the Street do Monte dos Burgos, designed by Arménio Losa in 1943, there are salient in volumes, two low-reliefs of Augusto Gomes, with an integrated approach in the proposed architecture, corresponding to two figures, one male and one female, with vegetal elements and alusive to the Labor, Industry and the Sea, recurring themes of the work by this author.

“Cinema Batalha”, Artur Andrade project, dated 1944 and completed in 1947, had the artistic contributions of Júlio Pomar and Américo Braga. From the first, fresh in foyers along the stairs, the second, a bas-relief on the facade facing side the Square “Batalha”. Both interventions provoked a political and social unrest, following the complaint of the Oporto City Council to the Ministry of Interior. The works were covered with plastic paint and low-reliefs were removed the hammer and sickle.

Panel placed without any kind of shot on the flat plane of the side wall of the building, with male and female figures arranged in three heights, representing real and allegorical figures on a background here and there punctuated by stars referring to the world of film.

On the bottom the only characters include dresses and shoes in a realistic way, constituting the symbolic support of the entire composition, in allusion to the work. On the left, next to a tree of life and ahead of a harvest, a farmer with forearm secure a bunch of wheat, and stands with his right hand a sickle.

In the center, a laborer at a construction carries on his shoulders a thick iron chain that holds his left hand while his right hand, before being mutilated wielding a hammer. Even this plan, a seated figure conceived in idealized form, displays a book, an allusion to artistic creation. In the higher planes, bodies originating in traditional design in the universe seem to metaphorically hover ethereal and timeless, aesthetically integrated combination of classicism, which is characteristic of neo-realism. "

The avant-garde spirit of Arthur Andrade does not refer solely to the radicalism of the remarkable architectural design solution to the street corner where you can simultaneously connect to the urban fabric and the highlight mode, but also the insertion of a set of works of art, whether neo-realist, which appear clearly as opposed to the regime. In this case, "Synthesis of the three arts" actually contains the very formal evolution of flight from sobriety geometric shapes using more complex than the slang of the day designated as "forms of chicanery."

In the 50s, the Cavan began to be publicized and used as a coating of buildings, beginning a search to take advantage of their aesthetic plasticity, since it was possible by the additive color and type of granules of marble or limestone used to draw diverse reasons, where the colors were separated by a metal.

The residential building in the Square D. Afonso V, designed by Francisco Pereira da Costa, in 1953, has decorative elements, in Cavan, on the tops of side walls. The ground floor, to trade, has a portico that provides the transition between the private and public space of the square, corresponding to the structural system, which finds itself in a standardized geometric mesh of the remaining floors. The existence of the decorative elements on the facades side refers to a clear reference to the Modern Movement.

Primary School of the Constitution, a project of Alexandre de Sousa, Architect of the Oporto City Council between 1956 and 58, can be observed in a stairwell, a mural by Costa Martins on blue marble, which is the technique of Cavan as well as one tempera by the same author, in the cafeteria and multipurpose, a child and playful theme.

Other examples of application of Cavan, as coating aesthetic feature, is a chalet of Arménio Losa in “Avenida dos Combatentes”, the 50s, where the wall has a side panel with an abstract design, and the “Paranhos” Neighborhood, or “Outeiro”, where its design as Social Neighborhood City Council initiative of the early '60s, did not prevent its classification plastic panels in each block, and a variety of reasons geometric figuration. The creation of the “Via de Cintura Interna” came a difficult perception more closer.

Creations by Jorge Barradas in 1950 for Atlantic Palace, 1946 draft of the Society of Architects / ARS, refer to a panel disclosed in the faience, inside, and a set of ceramic panels on the roof of the arcade outside. The mythological theme, focusing on references to national folklore and practice of grassland work, fits the use to which the building was intended, the desired exaltation of nationalistic values of "Portugal beyond the Seas."

At the Church of S ª da Boavista, draft Agostinho Ricca, 1979, in addition to fifteen glazed ceramic plates of 16.5 cm, dated 1986, titled "Steps of Christ's Passion and Resurrection," there are other works of Júlio Resende, as The windows, "Christ on Calvary" and a carpet that covers the central area of the church. This case shows that, regardless of academic training of the architect, devoted to the artistic conception, when an artist involved with the versatility of disciplinary Júlio Resende, all the architectural work earns a substantial depth.

FERNANDES, José Manuel - Modernist Architecture in Portugal. Lisbon: Gradiva, 1993.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Africa Generation

Architecture and Cities in Angola and Mozambique, 1925-1975, Ed. Livros Horizonte, is an important book for several reasons. The trail iconography of Portuguese architecture in the overseas areas during the twentieth century, 'a new central colonial', conceives of a 'vision' and an ability to deliver on those territories that the 'Metropolis' hardly reproduced until very recently. Or rather, the 'recasting' of architectural territories overseas, said the former colonies of Angola and Mozambique, was an opportunity to expose the work of a lot of architects, whose number of outputs is, on the whole, a remarkable testimony to the heritage of the collective attitude towards the application of planning and deployment of 'African space', and 'empire'.

Cycle, the inevitability that history often plays, whether it is currently widely repeated, with a new lease that will surely also relevant results.

Jose Manuel Fernandes, architect and teacher in the School of Architecture at the Technical University of Lisbon, invited the seminarian course in architecture at the Autonomous University of Lisbon, is one of the few architects with a literary work that can be considered relevant, and has written about the Portuguese architecture (and world) in a consistent and systematic in the past twenty years (at least), either in book or in articles written for the press.

Has chronicles published in the weekly magazine Expresso, carried along with architect Manuel Graça Dias - another author of books on architecture - strangely discontinued in favor of a new profile of the magazine (s) - questionable, it is true the lack of space for these kinds of texts - have always been an epitome of quality and rigor, by reflecting on the genesis and architecture for a personal reading (nay), with particular attention to all forms, styles, trends (without exception) and a great respect for history and the facts.

'Africa Generation' is assumed as a demonstration of how the work of Portuguese architects in Angola towns, such as Lobito, Nova Lisboa (Huambo), Benguela and Malange, and cities in Mozambique, Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Nampula , Beira and Quelimane. Registration of the text, between the use of historical fact, artistic and sometimes personal, architects involved, especially in the first part, is substantiated by the black and white photographs of various authors and the very José Manuel Fernandes, illustrating the leitmotif. In particular, some of these photographic reproductions are part of the private collection of Victor Pavoeiro Ferreira ('Victor Ferreira,' my father), who was always with a NIKON (NIKORMAT model) and a tripod in hand, even when he was at war overseas. And, indeed prescient, very well photographed architecture. He had a fondness for 'framework', which the extensive collection of slides just to confirm. We were then waiting for the second edition of this book, about to be published, perhaps in color.

This work starts from the notion that architecture and urbanism of Portuguese roots, affirmed throughout the twentieth century - and who have received extensive study in the Iberian and European area, in recent years - will only be fully and coherently explained if we studied the presence and parallel statement in overseas areas.

Choosing the territories of Angola and Mozambique - the most significant time considered, among several ex-colonial areas -, this essay seeks to provide a first contribution to that study, which are to come to be increasingly global.

It is also important to note what is meant here and interprets the "Twentieth Century" as having the Portuguese context, the real or actual beginning after World War I, about the dawn of the second quarter to nine hundred. Moreover, this study focuses on the historical stage by 1975 - that is, until the time of independence of the spaces considered Africans - because obviously we are concerned here to examine the urban-themed architectural roots, Portuguese influence and cultural context, something that becomes fully thereafter. Thus, speaking of architecture, urbanism theme at the "Portuguese Africa" is mostly talking about half a century situated between 1925 and 1975.

In this work it is the articulation of historical information, published or unpublished, with more recent data, and an audiovisual collection and oral testimonies direct result of trying to organize a discussion and an initial summary of this documentation and these testimonies. It is also necessary to mention that the understanding and justification of this study is to articulate the urban experience and urban planning with the work and architectural practice - especially since many of the professionals listed here and worked in both fields simultaneously - because we believe those two fields creation and knowledge as complementary and inseparable, in a sense interactive.

A generation of Portuguese architects left a vast work in Angola and Mozambique. Held in the third quarter of the century, this was an extremely avant-garde production of innovative and accomplished within colonial African who must now protect.

Little or nothing known, nor in his life nor in his work, were nevertheless applied builders Africa's century, in planning and urban design, architecture and arts. We speak of the "heroic generation" of Portuguese architects who, born mostly in years 10 and 20, formed in the postwar schools of Lisbon and Porto, have been living and working mainly in Angola and Mozambique over the decades of 40, 50 and 60.

Some have lived there, inserted in the middle colonies, and then came to the metropolis of completing their studies.

This was the case of Vasco Vieira da Costa (1911-1982), born in Aveiro, who studied and worked with Le Corbusier is a remarkable work in Luanda. Vasco Vieira da Costa set up in Luanda in 1960, having gone to Oporto in 1982, a few months before his death. With a small stake in the Exhibition-Fair of Angola in 1938, its kick-off with the draft Market Kinaxixi (1950-52) at Piazza Kinaxixi (1953), built by the firm "Castillos" a block for servants of the State, at Rua Amilcar Cabral (Set OBRES Modernes ... 1996), the whole pavilion, though incomplete Engineering Laboratory of Angola. As their own, the building's Diamang Rua Lopes Lima, the building of Versailles, at Avenida Rainha Ginga, an outstanding building of the Ministry of Public Works, commonly known as building Mutamba (1968-69), with a strong Corbusian mainly in the grids, the English School (Futungo Fine), Gedaliah (workshop and booth), Secil the tower and House of Brokers in the February 4, the Anangola and still factory Fabimor. There were many other works that he left here, the aesthetic quality and remarkable versatility in its functionality. Vieira da Costa deserves much more than these few words, and I think that with the growing number of architects Angolans, he will have the honor that has been repeatedly delayed.

But others, then recently graduated, went to Africa "to be free ', to get his professional life in a more open and modern, something simple and seemingly normal, but they felt they were somehow denied or impeded in the homeland Europe.

Was the case with talented José Pinto da Cunha, reputed author of numerous houses' for the rich "here, including the current residence of the ambassador of Portugal, designed the first duplex on Marginal, but above all creative works and bold Luanda innovative, between 63 and 67, as the modern Quarter Hold (a vast array type Olivais lisboetas 'in good'), the building of the National Radio of Angola (Built on land where there was an exhibition, "Overseas, whose halls participated some architects living in Luanda in the 60s). The great work of this architect, in association with the Costa Pereira Cyril was the building built in downtown Luanda, Rua Major Kanhangulo Opened in 1958, which is work still to take, within a certain period of architecture in colonial Africa.

José Pinto da Cunha was the son of one of the most repressive faculty of the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, which came to lead an authentic "forced migration" of students, collectively leaded in 42, to complete the course in Porto.

It was also the case of Francisco Castro Rodrigues (1920), the remarkable 'architect of Lobito', which generously offered their talent and professional life to the time it became the second city of Angola. Although overseen by the PIDE, Roberts managed to establish himself in Lobito on 53 and there conducted a real 'global work', whereas a slight but active municipal official. Was planner, urban planner and architect, performing for the new urban expansion areas many of the best equipment (between 64-66), in characteristically light and modern design, such as school, market, the airport, the elegant terrace cine Flamingo.

Only since 1975, started working in the capital, Luanda has so few papers with your signature.

Robinson was an exceptional course in Angola, as 'was', by adhesion and taste, since independence, contributing to the organization's current architecture of the young Republic of Angola until 87. Their work, while teaching at the faculty of architecture at the University Agostinho Neto, was colossal importance.

When you leave Angola in 1988, leaves at Lobito "every corner of your risk and the dash.
Invited by the city of Lobito to the celebrations of the city, returned there in 1993, honored and touched.

Already the architect of natural Luanda, Jonathan Simões de Carvalho, who also tyrosine in the atelier of Le Corbusier, is a figure of more diversified business, with works in Luanda, but also in London and Brazil. Between 63 and 65, was author, with Pinto da Cunha, Hospital of Lubango (Sa da Bandeira former) and also with Alfredo Fernando Pereira, Barrio Hold Luanda. Intervention had a persistent and continuous training in municipal planning of Luanda.

Many other writers and works with modernity could be part of this list in Angola and Mozambique, a first search, can be grouped more than fifty names of architects there set.

In Angola, still refer to such names as Antonio Campino with the President or the Auto Hotel Avenue in Luanda, the Brothers Garcia de Castilho, pioneers of the '50s, which he built in Luanda Film Restoration or the grand building Mobil (1951), the Battle of Fernando (1908), who worked for the National Monuments in Angola, of the Pereira da Costa (with the Building Cyril, the 'cycle of coffee', 59), the Louis Taquelim (born Algarve, it seems the author of Moxico Hotel / Vila Luso).

And not forgetting the most fleeting passes, but marked by an uncompromising action, such as Francisco Silva Dias (1930), which earned her resignation from the Board of Luanda (dared publicly to advocate that the planning was led by local architects!) - yet the author of the draft technical school of Saurimo, in the remote Lunda, 59 (work discovered that there are days, surprised to have been built) or Teotonio Pereira and Nuno Bartolomeu Costa Cabral, authors of a small 'mini city industrial 'Modern Pulp Enterprise (High Catumbela, Benguela - 58-59).

In Mozambique there are also a number of authors and works of great quality. Besides Amancio Guedes Miranda (or Pancho Guedes, Lisbon, 1925), already better known and prized for its unique and diverse workforce Laurentian, and other newer (Jose Forjaz, Coimbra, 1936) - there is mention architects unfairly unknown or forgotten John Joseph Taylor (1983), author of notable modern works adapted to the climatic context (Terminal Nampula; seat of Government of Niassa, Lichinga, - 66-68); José Porto (1963), author of the wonderful Grand Hotel Beira and several buildings in the city center, the years 40-50, Francisco Castro (designer of the Beira railway station) or Garizo Carmo (Cinema S. Jorge, Beira). And not forgetting, again, the authors point passing through the territory, as José Bastos Gomes (1914-1991), author of the splendid and super decorated BNU Lourenço Marques (now the Bank of Mozambique in Maputo).

What is striking in all these works, the scale is innovative and modern, with no shame, fear or hesitation, although established in the middle of the colonial situation, and in many cases 'super provincial'. What we admire and esteem is the greatness of sights, cultural, and artistic techniques of a generation of "professional migrants", who, working often in contexts of the administration official was able to launch 'new towns', full of brand new modern architecture the various and vast areas of the territories then Luso-Africans. Especially between 1950 and 1975. Because it must be said, a quarter century after management ended with some objectivity, this architecture and urbanism have reached this size and quality higher than that practiced at the same time the 'Metropolis'.

And just a situation of complete confidence in the innovation of collective enthusiasm, despite the line of differences (between state, private developers, municipal action) and understanding and acceptance of a new scale geographic, economic and social development (with some ingenuity and a taste for discovery, which is beneficial in these cases) may explain this. In contrast to a metropolitan society, who resisted modernization in 'Portuguese Africa' in the third quarter of the century it was possible to try and even food and bring newness and modernity of spaces and architectures in a period of 25 years, in fact the only context Europe, since European countries (democracy in post-World War II) had almost entirely abandoned since the colonial territories in Africa to 60-61.

During this time, ironically, Portugal was thus the 'unique case' of a nation with retrograde political system at European level which had a production leading innovator in its space colonial Africa.

Now, looking at the possible future of this great legacy material, between cities and buildings, we must know the insert (what's left, and it is recoverable) in the new context of post-civil wars, new nations of Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and hopefully soon in Angola. Knowing the value of what is, better able to recover, reuse and integrate.

Antonio Veloso, did the project for the plant Jomar, the road of Cuca (N'Gola Kiluange), and even some buildings in the avenue, on land divided between various owners from the north of Portugal, who gave these works to their "fellow countrymen "with a strong regionalist, since the architects chosen were all from the College of Fine Arts of Porto (Gennaro Godinho, Vieira da Costa, Adalberto Dias Pereira da Costa Pinto da Cunha and of course, Antonio Veloso).

The architect designed the George Clark Fosforeira Angola and a tube factory in 1958, and water treatment plant in Gika Commander.

The BCA, the work "flagship" in downtown, is authored by Gennaro Godinho, and a curiosity it should be noted that the design of Bank of Angola is the architect Vasco Regaleira, who like Paulo Cunha (who did the work zone Port of Luanda and wide front) cannot be considered "generation African" because he never lived or worked continuously in Angola.

There is still some work to architect Troufa Real, stressing among many, the project of a bank branch in Largo Maianga.

To end this tour by "African Generation" of Portuguese architects who have worked in Angola, it would be unfair to omit the architect Fernando Battle, the only one who at one time worked in heritage preservation, and his book "Architecture in Angola" will talk another time. This is a matter of utmost relevance come to be touched, any time soon, given the eagerness with which some vested interests are manifested by the "slaughter" of buildings, which are inseparable from the sustained growth history of the city, in certain periods of its history of centuries.

One day, Fernando Batalha, a nearly century architect and very lucid, will appear as a source of studies on the colonial era, having been the only one over 45 years in Angola, working on the property.

They say it was a lonely man who at the time, defended values discarded. Was writing these memories and continues to do so every day in an office where you can see the Tagus. He is the author of numerous publications on architecture, ethnography, history, and archeology.

It all began in January. º Cruise Vacation Students' Metropolis at Colonial, with a cultural director named Marcelo Caetano, who "told him to do many lectures and essays" during the trip. In the end, Fernando Battle let himself enchanted by Africa. He stayed. 1935: "There was only in Luanda century architecture. XVII, XVIII and XIX. From the century. XX, nothing! The city had no paved streets or sewage system. He took to bathing with a bucket of holes, from where he pulled a twine to leave yellow water. "

Had meetings marked. With the king of Congo, D. Peter VII, when, in 1942, showed him the debris of the first church of the Portuguese city of San Salvador (1491), now M'banza Congo. "It was old man, but nice and friendly, simple in dress," recalls Fernando Battle, who later learned of the site have turned airstrip.

Longevity has made it a living voice of history. He was among the first architects to step on the former colony, which led to immediate calls and work done. But the stop-start development takes young people to compete for South Africa in World War II, given the lack of technicians, called to combat. "The intelligence was operating in Angola, a bridge between Europe and Africa, and 'they' wanted to examine my condition. But when it comes to authorization, since the war ended, and the architects were in their posts."

He was grateful to fate. "I did not like, despite the South African cities are highly developed. When the Boers won the elections in 1948, lived in a guerrilla war without weapons, because the population was accustomed to the English, more lenient. There was open communication between ethnic. In Angola, the coexistence was different. “He walked a lot.”I visited the sites where there was the Portuguese presence. I confirmed ruins missing information gathered. I have a list of what there was." Was concerned with saving buildings, classifying all that way, restored what they could. Had problems because he wants to preserve centuries-old homes that were destroyed in Luanda. All documentation is on its enviable file.

The great work comes after the war. "The price of coffee has risen greatly. The Americans, who did the Vietnam War with stimulants, continued to drink coffee when they returned home. Europeans also. And Luanda begins to grow with private investment." And official. "Salazar did not want Angola to stay behind other colonies. He made the port of Luanda, roads, school buildings, finance with four floors, and opened up construction neighborhoods for whites and blacks."

Time to write, so do not miss. "At the time, not giving me work, but had an office in the palace with beautiful view to the garden of the governor. There were editors or readers, but took notes and wrote articles and short essays."

The interventions were in the hundreds. Engaged in land development plans, expansion of commerce and palaces of governors, launching offices in Angola. When age 75 came to Lisbon, he left the inventory of assets of the new country. A numerical palindrome of stay (1938-1983) in Angola did - you go through ancient times and continue, after independence, to transmit knowledge as a professor in the Faculty of Architecture of Luanda.

You have to edit the original seven. "I just wanted to live up to the launch of the forthcoming book, The Historical Populations of Angola." Frail but confident voice, he lives surrounded Battle of maps, old files and projects. He writes on yellow leaves, perhaps coming from Africa.

This "Africa" Generation are also included painters such as: Abel Manta, Almada Negreiros, António Quadros, Dórdio Gomes, Henry Medina, Isolino Vaz, Jaime Isidoro, John Hogan, Júlio Resende, Lourdes Castro, Manuel Pereira da Silva, among others; sculpture, highlight: Arlindo Rocha, Henrique Moreira, Leopoldo de Almeida, Manuel Pereira da Silva e Sousa Caldas.

In 1955, Manuel Pereira da Silva designed the statue of Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. president won the tender launched for that purpose by the Ministry of Overseas, erected opposite the building of the Town Hall of Bolama, in Guinea-Bissau.

Ulysses Grant was an American general and statesman, born in 1822 and died in 1885. Walked in the Mexican War in 1847 and actively participated in the Civil War, fighting alongside the Northerners, having given the coup de grace in the Southern 1865. Candidate for U.S. president, won overwhelmingly, and ruled from 1868 to 1876, as 18th President. From 1877 to 1880 made a triumphal trip around the world, where he was always warmly received. "
"For it was this famous statesman who openly defended the possession of Guinea to Portugal. In memory of someone, being large, generously learned advocate a just cause, the Government commissioned the Portuguese Manuel Pereira da Silva their statue, despite the Guinean revolutionary winds of independence, is still in place. "

In 1960, Manuel Pereira da Silva performed, "Africa", this low-relief, polychrome faience, for the decoration of the facade of a building situated on the waterfront of the Bay of Luanda, Angola. To this end Manuel Pereira da Silva improvised studio in a vacant industrial collection, on the outskirts of Porto.

This with the bas-relief of the Palace of Justice had the same treatment bas-relief running to Angola where there are plenty of geometric shapes. Figures of the Gentiles, plants and animals are on the immense work in a modern design that Manuel Pereira da Silva sought to impose on their works.