7 facts about Graça Morais
Wrapped in mystery and surprise, Graça Morais (1948) creates works that convey to the viewer his memory of the rural world, of the village of Vieiro in Trás-os-Montes, where he was born and raised. In a relationship between the body, thought and experience, the artist paints with strong features the faces of a village, the stories of the Portuguese people, their customs, the way of working and the power of motherhood. In addition to painting, he created illustrations for books and tile panels in various buildings such as the Caixa Geral de Depósitos Building in Lisbon, the Belarus Station of the Moscow Metro, among others. Graça Morais represented Portugal at the XVII Bienal de São Paulo in 1983. Learn more about the artist here.
1.Graça Morais is the biggest collector of his paintings.
Maria da Graça Pinto de Almeida Morais was born in Freixiel, Vila Flor, on March 17, 1948. She lived in Mozambique between 1957 and 1958, returning to Vieiro the following year. In 1966 he joined the Escola Superior de Belas Artes do Porto to study painting, having completed the course in 1971 and presented the 5th year evaluation exhibition at the Escola Superior de Belas Artes do Porto. In 1974, he exhibited for the first time, at the Alberto Sampaio Museum, in Guimarães. He currently lives and works between the city of Lisbon and the village of Vieiro, with his partner, the guitarist Pedro Caldeira Cabral, and says he has great difficulty separating himself from his work, being, therefore, probably the biggest collector of his works. frames.
2. The paintings and drawings of Graça Morais are populated by female figures.
Her paintings and drawings are populated by female figures that tell the story of the artist herself but also weave mythical and tragic choreographies of the secrets of the working woman of a generation before her own. In recent years it has become increasingly involved with the violence of man, portraying “a transfigured world” full of war and other problems.
3. Left Lisbon in 1981 to live and work in the village of Vieiro.
The forms and materials of the Northeast of Trás-os-Montes, that is, the expression of its roots, are the subject of intense reflection, where it remains for two years, although it continues to exhibit. In 1982, he made several visits (to Westkunst, in Cologne, to Documenta in Kassem, in Vienna). Create a series of dog drawings.
4. He divides his time between the studios in Lisbon and Vieiro-Freixiel, the village in the north of Portugal where he was born.
As the olive tree is linked to the national territory, Graça Morais it is immensely immersed in the atmosphere and in the Portuguese rural mythology, more specifically in Trás-os-Montes, in the extreme northeast of Portugal. He divides his time between the studios in Lisbon and Vieiro-Freixiel, a village in northern Portugal where he was born in 1948. This is where the ideas and images we see represented in his works were nurtured, from dogs, cats and goats, to the violence of men and the cruelty of nature. raw and natural, Graça Morais expresses the other side of its origins, thus making known the human being, its abilities and stories. Daily life is the main theme in the artist's work, so it became essential to represent the activities of the people around them, from the registration of clothes, to hair, through the very relationship that individuals have with the land. Graça Morais compares an artist's act of creation with the affection that people have for the land and for creating something on it that will later bear fruit.
5.The life and work of Graça Morais were the subject of documentaries.
The life and work of Graça Morais were the subject of the documentaries As Chosen (1997), by Margarida Gil, In the Head of a Woman is the Story of a Village (1999), by Joana Morais, and Graça Morais and the Writers (2017), by Luís Alves de Matos. In 2011, Joana Providência choreographed Terra Quente Terra Fria, created from the painter's work. In 2015, Teatro da Garagem premiered the play Graça: Suite Teatral em Três Movimentos, based on texts by Graça Morais and António Tabucchi, directed by Carlos J. Pessoa.
6.Graça Morais I give Bragança 70 works worth half a million euros
Graça Morais was the first to offer 52 paintings, to which she now adds another 70, worth half a million euros, as the painter told Lusa. The painter explained that, in the donation, there are “works from different stages” of her career and added that next year she intends to “make a larger donation. Because I think I have this obligation to leave an important legacy here to the region where I was born and to my country”, he declared.
7. In 2008, the Center for Contemporary Art was inaugurated Graça Morais (CACGM)
Graça Morais was invited by the Bragança Chamber, the owner of the Contemporary Art Center, to be the mentor of this space opened in 2008. The cultural equipment is installed in a historic building, in the center of Bragança, remodeled by the architect Souto de Moura, and became a space that gives access, in this region, to art that was previously only accessible in large cities. Since that year, the Contemporary Art Center Graça Morais has permanently and continuously presented several exhibitions by the artist, curated by its director Jorge da Costa. The Center always has an exhibition of Graça Morais simultaneously with that of another artist, and promotes activities, namely with the younger ones, to awaken to the arts.