This Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Manuel Cargaleiro, the master of Portuguese Lyrical Abstractionism celebrates his 95th birthday. the portuguese artist Manuel Cargaleiro created a striking language in the artistic world by combining ceramics and painting, through interplay between color, light and shadow. His works are strongly characterized by the use of geometry and abstract language, tending to be non-figurative with spontaneous and dynamic brushstrokes full of vibrant colors, which overlap the form, reducing the formality that characterizes the geometric elements. The exploration of color is one of the main characteristics of his work, as it reveals feelings and creates different spaces in a single composition. The influence of the traditional Portuguese tile is denoted, by the repetition of the quadrilaterals and the use of colors such as blue and white. In addition to painting and ceramics, Manuel Cargaleiro he also explored drawing, sculpture, tapestry and engraving. Discover more about Manuel Cargaleiro in this article.
1.It started with ceramics
He started playing with ceramics when he was still in primary school, at the home of a potter, José Trindade. Later he discovered painting, when he went to the School of Fine Arts.«I always felt the need to paint.» — Manuel Cargaleiro
2.Before Fine Arts, he studied Science.
Manuel Cargaleiro stated: «My father was a farmer, and his dream was that I would become a veterinarian or an agronomist. My brother was a veterinarian, but I was not an agronomist.”
3.While a student in Fine Arts, he was a teacher at the António Arroio School.
Manuel Cargaleiro account: In the second year, he held an exhibition of ceramics only at Galeria de Março, with José-Augusto França. As a teacher of painting and ceramics at António Arroio had retired at the time, they took the Minister of Education there, who was Francisco Leite Pinto, and he said “call this one”. I told them that I hadn't finished the course yet. “It doesn't matter; will be appointed by ministerial dispatch” (laughs). I was at António Arroio for a number of years. Several things happened, and at a certain point I made the decision: “My life is not about being a teacher, and I'm going to take a risk, I'm going to leave teaching”.
4. He lived on Rue des Grands Augustins, where Picasso lived.
They were practically neighbors. Pablo Picasso lived at number 7, and Manuel Cargaleiro in 19. They were next to each other but never formed a friendship.Manuel Cargaleiro recounted: «I was very friendly with Max Ernst, Jan Earp, Camille Bryen, Natalie Gontcharova, these surrealist painters and great artists, who were in the same Edouard Loeb gallery as I was. Now, with Picasso, no. I was with him several times, I went to openings of his exhibitions. But I never wanted to… I think Picasso surpasses everything. He was always working, and I was incapable of disturbing him.”
5. Was a friend of Vieira da Silva It is Árpád Szenes and was part of the School of Paris in the 1950s
He went to Italy with a scholarship from the Italian state and, later, to France with a scholarship from the Gulbenkian, to stay and work at the Faiencerie de Gien ceramics factory. This location and the French capital itself gave him unique opportunities, at a time when Portugal was closed by the Salazar dictatorship. Paris was the center of culture and art during the 19th and 20th centuries, so many artists from different nationalities came together and shared ideas, being remembered by the denomination of Paris school. The Portuguese, Manuel Cargaleiro It is Vieira da Silva, were among the last artists to join this well-known school in Paris and also the last generation of the lyrical abstraction movement.
6. Defined himself as a “lyrical abstractionist”
According to the Portuguese artist, lyrical abstractionism is a simplistic definition of a graphic design that conveys a person's state of mind at a given moment. It's not an abstract thing, it's a real situation. When he paints and draws, he represents a sensation, and he tries to convey it.
«People, when they look at that, cannot see it simply as a decorative element: “Oh, it’s very beautiful, very decorative!”. That's little. A worker who is in the factory and repeats the same drawing thousands of times, that is abstractionism. By the way, the Paul Klee There is a sentence in one of his books that I find very interesting: “There are lines of sadness, lines of joy, lines of happiness…”. I mean, sensations can be transmitted by lines.» — Manuel Cargaleiro
7.A reference in Portuguese art since the mid-20th century
Painter and ceramist,Manuel Cargaleiro (Vila Velha de Ródão, 1927) is a reference in Portuguese art from the mid-20th century to the present day. He is one of the last painters to join the well-known Paris school and the lyrical abstractionist movement. His works can be found in various parts of the world, with a public work in Portugal at the Colégio Militar station, but also in Paris. In Italy, he fostered a special connection to the Italian city of Vietri Sul Mare, currently home to the Fondazione Museo Artistico Industriale. Manuel Cargaleiro.