5 facts about Noronha da Costa

5 Factos sobre Noronha da Costa

Who was Noronha da Costa?

the portuguese artist Noronha da Costa (1942-2020) stood out in the artistic panorama for his constant study of image and perception. From the late 1960s onwards, he devoted himself fully to painting, exploring collages and the "screen effect" using mirrors and frosted glass. In the 1960s, he created his emblematic technique with the spray gun, which offered the spectator a new pictorial perception. Learn more about this artist here.

1.Noronha da Costa was a multifaceted artist

Luís Noronha da Costa was born in Lisbon, in 1942, in the fateful year of the Second World War. He graduated in architecture at the Escola Superior de Belas Artes, in Lisbon, starting to exhibit at just 20 years old. From the late 1960s onwards, he devoted himself fully to painting. His most "celebrated" works are from that period, to use the happy expression of Bernardo Pinto de Almeida. He was only 27 years old when he won the Soquil Grand Prix. Exactly thirty years later, in 1999, the European Parliament awarded him the Painting Prize. In 1983, the Gulbenkian Foundation dedicated its first retrospective to him. But it would be necessary to wait another twenty years for it to be entitled to a second anthology, the aforementioned exhibition by Faria/Wandschneider, at the CCB. In addition to painting, he also performed artistic works at the level of experimental cinema. Later, in the early 1980s, he would obviously become interested in holographic images.

2.Noronha da Costa, the painter of the sea, perception, blurring and dialogue with the outside world.

the portuguese artist Noronha da Costa he stood out in the artistic panorama for his constant study of image and perception. Noronha Costa's artistic production was marked by the questioning of perception, with dualities always existing, between real or virtual, duplication or blurring. His work is recognized for the play of light and shadow, surprising and suggestive diffuse figures, transposing the canvas three-dimensionally. He considers that in his work the image is not on the canvas. "What I'm looking for is precisely to sabotage the plane of the screen, not from a geometric or traditional perspective, but from a holographic perspective of diffusion projection". also states "The technique I use "spray" seeks that drawing and painting are the same. The image appears as a projection (here, projection by spray). Hence its relationship with cinema."

3. Noronha da Costa wanted to break with the pictorial practices of the time

Initially, he began by exploring collages and the "screen effect" using mirrors and frosted glass. These assemblages, which consisted of different elements, such as mirrors, frosted or transparent glass, a spotlight or a silhouette painted with an airbrush, called for depth, color, shape, perspective and, above all, the perception of the painting. Disassembled and reconstructed these collages resembled the idea of a jigsaw puzzle. In the 1960s, he created his iconic technique with the spray gun. From this method, Noronha da Costa created images that are close to us — however, they remain in another room, giving us the perception that there is a frosted glass to be divided. From the 1980s, there is an emphasis on ghostly and almost spectral images, and an incessant search for the very essence of painting.

4. It was forgotten for a few decades.

The paradigm shift that took place in the mid-1980s contributed to its oblivion. Pinto de Almeida stated: “My generation was dazzled by the opening of Portugal to Europe. And he neglected to defend artists of prime importance. not only Noronha da Costa, but also Helena Almeida (1934-2018) or Ângelo de Sousa (1938-2011)", rediscovered or rescued much later. However, there was a greater tragedy that no one speaks about openly: the death of the artist's muse. Noémia Cacho Rodrigues , died in 1990, aged just 48. Noronha da Costa, guarantees those who knew him, he would never be the same again.
In an article in Jornal de Notícias about Noronha da Costa say about their oblivion: “There are those who today lament "the tragic mantle of oblivion" that descended over Noronha da Costa too soon. But João Bénard da Costa, who disappeared in 2009, realized much earlier that one cannot return from that mantle, no matter how hard many try. Regarding the 2003 exhibition, he wrote: "No one in Portugal took this quest for the sublime further. I just don't think, unlike the commissioners, that this evidence is from now on evident. In the land of the blind, only those who have one eye is king. He who sees with all his eyes, his whole body, his whole soul - like Louis Noronha da Costa - can only be condemned to exile and curse."

5. The similarities between the works of Noronha da Costa and Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter was a German artist who was once considered the most expensive painter in the world. Bernardo Pinto de Almeida made this association between the two painters, which led Noronha da Costa explain what distinguished him from the German, in an interview with "Jornal de Negócios": "Perhaps our work has a certain formal similarity that has to do with what I call diffusion and not blurring - blurring takes away information from the object , diffusion puts the object in space, a bit like holograms. That's what I do. And I do it, maybe four or five years before Gerhard Richter's first experiments in that sense."

Noronha da Costa 🇧🇷 Magazine | P55.ART

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