The poet and plastic artist Cruzeiro Seixas (1920-2020) was one of the founders of Portuguese Surrealism, a movement to which he has always remained loyal, as he considers it "unique and revolutionary" in the history of art. His thin line drawings have always been faithful to this aesthetic language, which emerged in the early 1920s with the aim of transforming society and freeing the spirit. He dreamed and imagined, without aesthetic or moral impositions, in the world of plastic art, but also of poetry. He is the author of extensive work in various fields, from drawing and painting, but also poetry, sculpture and sculpture. Discover seven facts about the last of the Portuguese surrealists Cruzeiro Seixas in this article.
It was the last of the Portuguese surrealists, the movement led by Mário Cesariny in the late 1940s.
The emergence of Surrealism in Portugal is late, despite the artists being aware of this movement and the publication of the first Breton manifesto. Gomes Leal, Teixeira de Pascoaes or the Orpheu generation already have some surrealist characteristics in their works, although Surrealism in Portugal only came to be imposed in 1947. As in France, the development of Surrealism in Portugal also suffered some vicissitudes. In his vast artistic production, Cruzeiro Seixas went through several phases, from expressionism to neo-realism, to surrealism. He was a recurrent promoter of surrealist aesthetics in the Portuguese milieu.
painter and poet
He explored various techniques and supports, transmitting a constant poetic and plastic freedom. His drawings, paintings and sculptures integrated the metaphysical landscapes of Giorgio de Chirico and the metamorphic figurations of Salvador Dalí . Through the contrasts between blacks and whites, he developed a very personal imaginary universe. He dreamed and imagined, without aesthetic or moral impositions, in the world of plastic art, but also of poetry. In his works composed of collages, poems and objects, we noticed that the creation process appeared in circles: from poems he created paintings and vice versa. Intensely expressing his dreams and desires for freedom, he was an artist who rejected the formal concerns of art, introducing new techniques and materials into his pieces.
The desire for freedom has always been the most important thing for the artist
"We reinvented surrealism in the time [of the dictatorship] of Salazar, when there was nothing in Portugal. Hunger was so great and there were no books. Nothing came here. But we kept reinventing. There were extraordinary ideas, especially in the field of painting ", recalled the artist in another interview.
Traveled through Africa, India and the Far East
In the 1950s, Cruzeiro Seixas left for Africa in 1950, with the desire to know the continent, enlisting in the merchant navy. He also traveled through India and the Far East, settling in Angola in 1952, where he held several exhibitions that profoundly marked the society of the time.
Donated his entire collection to the Cupertino de Miranda Foundation
In 1999, he donated the entirety of his collection to the Cupertino de Miranda Foundation, in Vila Nova de Famalicão, for the creation of the Center for Studies in Surrealism and the Museum of Surrealism, which had been created in the meantime. a permanent exhibition dedicated to the artist.
There are several films about the artist
The premiere of the documentary "As Cartas do Rei Artur", by Cláudia Rita Oliveira, in 2016, the third film dedicated to the plastic artist, followed "NOMA -- Cruzeiro Seixas" (2006), by Carlos Cabral Nunes, and also "Cruzeiro Seixas: The Vice of Freedom" (2010), by Alberto Serra and Ricardo Espírito Santo. "As Cartas do rei Artur" is the result of interviews with Cruzeiro Seixas , who cross images of his painting with his objects - notebooks and drawings by the author. The film addresses Cruzeiro Seixas' homosexuality, and in particular, his relationship with Mário Cesariny, which spanned several decades.
Won several awards
In 2012, Cruzeiro Seixas was honored by the Santiago de Chile International Book Fair (FILSA), which dedicated an exclusive issue of the magazine "Derrame", by the Chilean surrealist group, to him. In the same year, he received the Medal of Honor from the Portuguese Society of Authors. In 2017, the Vila Nova de Cerveira Art Biennial celebrated its 40th anniversary with a tribute to the artist. A year later, it was Centro Português de Serigrafia, in Lisbon, to remember its journey, with an exhibition and the edition of a book with the graphic work, which would be followed, in 2019, by the album "Diário não Diário", with "all its creative dimension". He received the Medal of Cultural Merit by the Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, as "institutional recognition, but also as a personal recognition of someone who joins the many who admire him and who find in him a look that has always seen further and deeper" .