10 Works of Art Tell the Artist's StoryJúlio Pomar

10 Obras de Arte Contam a História do Artista Júlio Pomar
10 Works of Art about the artistic path ofJúlio Pomar
Sara Antónia Matos, director and curator of the Atelier-MuseumJúlio Pomar, agreed to choose and comment for the Observer, 10 paradigmatic works byJúlio Pomar. In these choices that include works from 1946 to 2011, it is possible to observe changes in style and technique, even when the themes are repeated. the portuguese artistJúlio Pomarwho studied at the António Arroio School of Decorative Arts and the Lisbon and Porto School of Fine Arts, is still recognized today as a neo-realist painter, involved in art as a form of social protest. “Gadanheiro” and “O Almoço do Trolha” are from these times of protest, paintings with a clear message against the conservatism of the time and the dictatorship. travel the career ofJúlio Pomar, through the choices of Sara Antónia Matos.


1.Mural for the Batalha Cinema, in Porto, 1946-47
“The works of this period fall within the so-called neorealist movement. The artist is arrested by the PIDE, before the mural is completed. The government imposes the definitive elimination of the murals from Cinema Batalha in June 1948, one year after the building's inauguration. The few photographs that exist today of this painting, made directly on the wall of the building, reveal the artist’s boldness, at the time without the experience he has today, in accepting a challenge with so much artistic and social responsibility.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

2.“Study in Red”, 1964
“The set of works dedicated to the theme of 'races' and 'entries' – namely through the representation of horses, jockey races, entrances of bulls and fields – are, for Orchard, a reason for intense exploration of movement in painting.Júlio Pomaris on the move and gives movement to your tools. He moves to paint and moves spirits to write. He seeks movement and this, as if it were already out of his control, gaining autonomy, advances from his canvases towards the spectator’s space.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

3.“Le Bain Turc (d'après Ingres)”, 1968
“It manifests an eruption of the body, sex and eroticism – important axes in the artist’s work –, it is one of the works in whichJúlio Pomarassumes, in the title, one of the masters who serve as a reference. Orchard shows that the flat color fills shapes, providing them with a precise cut, which is enough to give structure to the painting. This and other paintings from this phase can be considered the turning point in relation to the painting of the previous phase, where gesture and free brushstroke are dominant.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

4.“Tiger”, 1980
“It is one of his paradigmatic works: a symbol of strength and an icon of sensuality and eroticism, in the universe ofJúlio Pomar. One cannot, therefore, fail to talk about the erotic component in the painter’s work, which will be more in the textural dimension, and in the thickness of the pictorial matter that this tiger stages, than in the explicit and objective figuration of intertwined bodies.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

5.Portrait of President Mário Soares, 1992
“All along the way,Júlio Pomarhe made portraits and self-portraits, and it can be considered that he has always invested in one of the most canonical genres in the history of art. The portrait of Mário Soares is one of the most emblematic, not only for the new style and informality he introduces in the presidential portrait gallery, but also because, in fact, the then president was a longtime friend, having shared remarkable historical episodes and moments, from which is an example of the prison period in 1947.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

6.“Mascarados de Pirenópolis nº 15”, 1987
“With great chromatic strength, it is part of a series of 15 paintings with the same title in which the painter represents the festivities and rituals associated with the festivities of the Divino Espírito Santo, which he attended in Brazil. This work, as well as the paintings he dedicates to the Indians of the Amazon community, namely 'Os Ticxão', are large-scale paintings, reaching four meters in length. They demonstrate how the telluric forces are transferred to the support of the canvas.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

7. “Fernando Pessoa” – Alto dos Moinhos metro station, in Lisbon, 1983-84
“Camões, Bocage, Almada and Pessoa were chosen byJúlio Pomarto inhabit the Alto dos Moinhos metro station. Pessoa appears in triplicate, duplicated, at the coffee table, shining shoes, alluding to everyday life, along an underground route that many of the city's inhabitants take every day. This set of drawings, namely the figure of Pessoa, can be found on different everyday media: on the passports of Portuguese citizens and on some ATM cards.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

8. Drawings for “War and Peace”, by Tolstoy, 1956-1958
“Illustration work, an example of a fruitful relationship between plastic work and literature. In this field, the work ofJúlio Pomaracquires a humor and an irony that are both biting and amusing. Not subjugating the illustration to the text, the drawings, illustrations and paintings denote sudden explosions of humor.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

9.“Carlos do Carmo”, 2011
“Underlining the importance of music and poetry, we could not fail to present the paintings that, in the last two decades,Júlio Pomardedicated to the universe of fado and particularly to its performers: Carlos do Carmo, Cristina Branco, Mariza or even Alfredo Marceneiro. In some, he appears alongside Fernando Pessoa, highlighting the importance of dialogue between 'popular culture' and 'erudite culture'. For the painter, they are two inseparable aspects of culture.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART

10.“Donkey Playing Guitar”, 2011
“Within the theme of fado, the representation of the guitar takes on a particular relevance because it becomes an instrument for the manifestation or entertainment of this animal to which, in recent years, Pomar has devoted special attention: the donkey. Appears represented from the front (like most animals inJúlio Pomar). Instead of the sad figure we usually know of this animal, its donkeysJúlio Pomarsing, have fun, carry guitars and carry an amusing quixotic sarcasm.”

Júlio Pomar| P55.ART


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