Graça Morais win prize Vasco Graça Moura

Graça Morais vence Prémio Vasco Graça Moura

“Since her youth, the artist has had a permanent active participation in the defense of humanism, respect for human dignity and human rights. A very strong connection to the land and popular traditions and a permanent attention to the harshness of life and compassion have characterized a remarkable coherence in his work”, says the jury, which was presided over by Guilherme d'Oliveira Martins, corresponding partner of the Academy of Sciences from Lisbon. "ForGraça Morais cultural citizenship is something natural and necessary. His artistic talent and the choice of themes for his works, in close intimate connection, are always underpinned by attention to others and care for the most vulnerable. The artist and the citizen are always present, which constitutes a unique example in the contemporary art scene, deserving of special recognition”, underlined the jury of the prize promoted by Estoril Sol, in a statement sent to the Lusa agency.

The prize Vasco Graça Moura – Cultural Citizenship, worth 20,000 euros, distinguishes this year, the painter Graça Morais, with more than 50 years of career, highlighting “his cultural, artistic and civic path”, announced today the promoter.

Graça Morais | Magazine | P55.ART

This award joins several other distinctions that the visual artist has already received, namely the Order of Infante D. Henrique, with the rank of Grand Officer, awarded in 1997, and the Medal of Cultural Merit, for her contribution to the arts, awarded in March 2019 by the then Minister of Culture Graça Fonseca, and the most recent “Personality of the North” award, from the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of the North, which was presented to her at the end of November.

Who is it Graça Morais?

Graça Morais is one of the most notable Portuguese visual artists today. Involved in mystery and surprise, she transmits to the viewer, from the act of painting, her memory of the rural world, of the village of Vieira in Trás-os-Montes, where she was born and raised. Rural activities and habits weave the intense lines for her creations, thus revealing the reality of the artist herself and the people around her. 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 Belarusian Metro Station in Moscow, among others. In 1983, he represented Portugal at the XVII Bienal de São Paulo and in 2008, the Contemporary Art Center was inauguratedGraça Morais (CACGM) in Bragança, designed by the architect Souto Moura, which has a nucleus of several rooms dedicated to the work of the painter.

As the olive tree is linked to the national territory,Graça Morais is immensely immersed in the Portuguese rural atmosphere and mythology, more specifically in Trás-os-Montes, in the extreme northeast of Portugal. He divides his time between his studios in Lisbon and Vieiro-Freixiel, the village in the north of Portugal where he was born in 1948. This is where he nurtured the ideas and images that we see represented in his works, 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 her, from recording clothes, to hair, passing through the very relationship that individuals have with the earth.Graça Moraiscompares an artist's act of creation with the affection that people have for the earth and for creating something in it that will later bear fruit. Her paintings and drawings are populated by female figures who tell the artist's own story but also weave mythical and tragic choreographies of the secrets of working women from a generation before her own. In recent years, he has become increasingly involved with human violence, portraying “a transfigured world” full of war and other problems.

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