5 facts aboutJosé de Guimarães

5 factos sobre José de Guimarães

1. The interest in anthropology emerged as a child
José de Guimarãeswas born in 1939 in the birthplace of Portugal – Guimarães, where he lived until the age of 22, when he came to Lisbon to continue his studies in engineering, drawing and engraving. From a very early age, he ventured into field work and began to exercise his second profession, let's say: that of ethnologist. Interest in the anthropological side of things begins early in childhood. The city of Guimarães is a land where archaeological material abounds: Celtic and Roman presence, secular traditions, religious processions and pilgrimages where death and resurrection are celebrated. There is also a whole mystical and symbolic side here that fascinates the artist and that we find in his works, namely in the reference to death. Undoubtedly, so many forms and stories the stones of the past have to tell.

José de Guimarães| Magazine | P55.ART

2.The surname is a pseudonym.
José Maria Fernandes Marques decided to adopt, as a pseudonym, the name of his city of origin, after having worked as a geologist, engineer and archaeologist.
“I was born in the city of Guimarães, in Portugal, in 1939, a city that, at that time surrounded by walls and fields, was medieval in geography and concepts. I studied there until the fifth year, in high school, where my free time was spent visiting the few local museums. One of them belonged to an association of archaeologists that, in addition to the excellent library, had a collection of archaeological finds and took care of the preservation of the archaeological station known as “Citânia de Briteiros”. —José de Guimarães

José de Guimarães| Magazine | P55.ART


3. Art as a manifesto of political and social intervention.
In a time of dictatorship, censorship and colonial war, it transformedJosé de Guimarãeshis art in a manifesto of political and social intervention expressed in a code to be deciphered, either to escape the myopia of the censors, or to force the public to reflect. As we will see later, in the works of sculpture and painting from the African period prior to the 25th of April 1974, the Estado Novo regime will be systematically contested and challenged. Fernando de Azevedo considers that the artist's intimacy with letters and numbers and the concomitant taste for the hidden message will facilitate the interest and understanding ofJosé de Guimarãesof the symbolic language that you will find in black art. «On the one hand, the schemes apprehended, and to a certain extent saturated, of a European language in which he was making up the beginnings of a painter's baggage and, to accentuate them in their prevalence, the context made absurd of his action inserted in the violent imposition and tragic in which colonialist despair was involved. On the other hand, the presence of an art that, remaining in a kind of formal and secret timelessness, therefore characterized a legitimate and surprising youth. […] The own world of painting byJosé de Guimarães[…] it appears partly through the doors that the letters and numbers open to it, now stripped of their graphic coldness, finally incorporated in different states of signage» .

José de Guimarães| Magazine | P55.ART

4.Suppressed the barriers between animal, human and machines
As such, and already mentioned, when crossing animals, machines and men, and when representing these, even in the case of historical characters revered as Heroes of the Fatherland, like any other being belonging to their plastic universe,José de Guimarãessuppresses barriers, hierarchies and privilege statutes between human beings, nature and technology, creating a norm of unification of the Being whose leveling principle of patricians, plebeians, reptiles and machines is effectively applied to its proposal of miscegenation of peoples and cultures.

5. In your hometown there is an arts center with your name and a collection of African, South American and Asian art.
The International Arts CenterJosé de Guimarãesbrings together pieces from different times, places and contexts in conjunction with works by contemporary artists, proposing a (re)assembly of art history, as a succession of echoes, and a new design for the museum, as a place for amazement and reflection .The CIAJG collection comprises a set of works by the artistJosé de Guimarães, as well as African art, pre-Columbian art, and ancient Chinese art, selected by the artist. In total, the CIAJG collection comprises 1128 objects, including ceramics, sculpture, drawing, installation, textiles, painting, painting and graphic arts.Objects of African art, pre-Columbian art and ancient Chinese art were acquired byJosé de Guimarãesbetween the 80s and 2000s in the European market specializing in artistic, archaeological and ethnographic objects, and loaned to the CIAJG, serving as the basis for its artistic program. The selection of worksJosé de Guimarãesseeks to represent the sixty years of the artist's trajectory in the field of painting, sculpture/installation and graphic arts. Unlike scientific or anthropology museums, the choice of objects in the CIAJG collection corresponds to the “artist-collector” sensibility ofJosé de Guimarães, which is inspired by them, continually re-elaborating a syncretic vocabulary of cultural references from different parts of the world. More than a heritage repository, subject to the immobility of historiographical cataloging, the CIAJG seeks to establish cross and critical perspectives on its collection and make visible the links that were broken between objects, narratives and peoples of origin. One of its missions is to study the collection in the context of its communities and the histories of the collection, placing them more broadly within the history of the circulation of ethnographic objects between Europe and Africa in general, and especially in the 20th and 21st centuries. .

José de Guimarães| Magazine | P55.ART


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