The visual element of color is used to create the atmosphere of a work of art, as it stimulates our emotions and perceptions. Thus, they offer us disparate responses such as harmony or conflict, hot or cold, due to the combination of pigments: a blue can be warm or cold, depending on the composition (it may tend more towards yellow or green).
The first set of pigments appeared more than 40,000 years ago: people began to color in red, yellow, brown, black and white. Others joined them on the ride of innovations and new artistic movements, from the Renaissance to Impressionism.
But the history of color is not all about discoveries. There are also reinventions: in the 20th century, in various artistic movements, we see the liberation of color from the traditional rules of painting, thus becoming the main structure of the work of art. These transformations influenced artists to express their emotions through pigments. Patches of color, superimposed tones and chromatic enhancement are characteristics that connect these five artists who help us discover spring. This is a journey through the use of color, which starts at the beginning of the 19th century and stops at various times, up to the present day.
In constant movement and creation, Júlio Pomar (1926-2018) is one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 20th century. During his long creative journey, he developed a range of issues and themes in his works, such as protest, resistance, eroticism, fado, bullfighting, literature, mythology, the Xingu Indians of Brazil and animals. Belonging to the third generation of modernists, Júlio Pomar is an artist whose works range from neorealism to expressionism, passing through abstractionism. In his paintings, color finds its strength in a structure of balanced planes, functioning as a form in a set that differs from the pigments used in the background. From works with free brushstrokes to the juxtaposition of intense colors in block with the use of acrylic, the works of Júlio Pomar intensely explore the potentiality of color. In addition to painting and drawing, he carried out works in various media such as serigraphy, engraving, sculpture, illustration, ceramics and tile mural decoration.
the portuguese artist Noronha da Costa (1942-2020) stood out in the artistic panorama for his constant study of image and perception. His works are easily identifiable by the use of the spray gun technique that the artist conceived in the 60s. Noronha da Costa created images embedded in a landscape, which are close to us — however, they remain in another room, giving us the perception that there is a frosted glass to divide. Color is the main structure of his work, as it creates forms and light, which enhances the tensions present in his landscapes. Exploring different paths, the pieces by the Portuguese artist are marked by the mixture of colors such as orange blues, yellows, violets, greens, reds and black. The artistic production of Noronha da Costa was marked by the questioning of perception through color, always existing dualities, between real or virtual, duplication or blurring.
Vibrant and captivating colors represent the work of the Portuguese artist Renato Macedo. From animal portraits to the most abstract works, the Portuguese artist creates these elements based on his emotions. The inspiration for his paintings comes from the environment around him and the photographs he captures. Thus, color is the most powerful element in the pieces, as it has the ability to convey the artist's feelings. In his canvases he uses various materials, such as acrylic, oil, charcoal, dry pastel, graphite and watercolors. The influence of the impressionist and post-impressionist movements and contemporary artists such as Paula Rego and Cristina Troufa, for the representation of light and color.
With a new attention given to the common object and its transformation, François Farcy (1994) creates works inserted in a mass culture. The French artist explores different elements, from mannequins with the human figure to animal sculptures. With intense, fluorescent and vibrant colors, he transforms his pieces, giving them a new aesthetic aspect. The influence of artists such as Basquiat and the pop art movement. The massification of popular capitalist culture and the aesthetics of the masses are revealed through pieces with brand symbols or popular elements. Exploring various supports, François Farcy offers a close look at current culture in a spontaneous and emotional way through an intense chromaticism.
Faithful to his observation and with a desire for expression and research based on art, Carina Leal (1997) develops her works involved in natural elements. Flowers, plants or simply movements of color represent his artistic production. In a romantic idea of intimate and sensitive observation of nature, the Portuguese artist draws and paints in various materials, such as acrylic, charcoal, dry pastel, gouaches and watercolors. The textures and movements present are created from the contrasts of color, light and shadows. Colors express emotions, conceiving vibrancy to his works. The influence of artists such as Anselm Kiefer and Claude Monet.