The Celebration of the Female Figure in the Work of Armanda Passos

A Celebração da Figura Feminina na Obra de Armanda Passos

The notable plastic artist Armanda Passos died at the age of 77!

Armanda Passos , one of the most notable Portuguese plastic artists, died last Tuesday, October 19, 2021, aged 77, following an illness that had been affecting her for months. His artistic production with vivid colors was marked by female figures, his relationship with nature, in particular with birds and by the development of a revolutionary technique with screen printing. He left a work full of paintings, drawings and silkscreens that represent a talent that manifested itself smoothly. Currently, his pieces are present in several collections, namely at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, at the Center for Modern Art at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, at the Serralves Foundation and at the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum.

Armanda Steps | P55 Magazine | P55.ART

Armanda Passos

Who was Armanda Passos ?

The plastic artist was born in 1944, in Peso da Régua, and graduated in Fine Arts at the Superior School of Fine Arts in Porto. She stated in several interviews that her artistic gift " was slowly manifesting itself. She thought she was not gifted for anything, especially for drawing. (...) It was gradually that I discovered it. " in her works, an evolution in terms of technique and themes, the surrounding materials and practice were changing through a naturally artistic evolution, but the representation of the female figure in an intimate way continued to always be the artist's focus. From his artistic path, which began in the 1970s, Armanda Passos was a professor of Screen Printing Technology at the Granja Vocational Rehabilitation Center and monitor of Engraving Technology at the Escola Superior de Belas Artes.In 1993, he illustrated the stories of Jorge Listopad for childhood, gathered in "Meio Conto", with an unprecedented series of 25 gouaches.

Armanda Steps | P55 Magazine | P55.ART

Armanda Passos

The Painting by Armanda Passos

The painter who created with soul, anger and intensity was recognized for the works that expressed the intensity and complexity of her spirit. In the vivid colors of her portraits, we can see, in a dreamlike manner, her interpretations, above all of the woman, as a figure and representation. She wasn't noticed in painting or drawing and she didn't see an artistic future, however, fate made her one of the most predominant Portuguese artists, marking the art of the late 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. In a society dominated by a market and a patriarchal world, Armanda Passos managed to stand out with his pieces with a deep meaning linked to his intimate space.

Armanda Steps | P55 Magazine | P55.ART

“For me, painting is really falling in love with feeling better, to be able to balance myself, to be able to find myself, it's a more personal thing.” 

- Armanda Passos

National and international success

The works of the Portuguese artist can be found in various exhibition spaces, namely the Douro Museum, Peso da Régua, the result of a donation of 83 works, and the Quinta de Santiago Museum, in Matosinhos, with the donation of two works. Armanda Passos said when donating these pieces that his goal was to leave his work to places and people who meant something in his life. Armanda Passos declared: "If they like my work, they like me"

Due to its relevance, the name of the artist was also attributed to a park in the riverside area. In this public space, sculptures that reproduce on a large scale the emblematic figures of the Douro painter were installed. Among the various distinctions he received, the Ministry of Culture prize (1984) and the award of the Order of Merit Commendation (2012) of the Portuguese Republic stood out. This year, the artist's work was once again highlighted in the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Quinta de Santiago Museum, in the exhibition “25 years later, the Municipal Art Collection, 1995-2020”. In 2011, the University of Porto honored the artist with two retrospectives, Reservas and Obra Gráfica , and the publication of a catalog-book, Armanda Passos Centenário UP – Uma Retrospectiva , with texts by José-Augusto França, Manuel Sobrinho Simões and Luís of Moura Sobral. In 2015, UP presented the exhibition " Aranda Passos – Blocks of Drawings ESBAP" . And it also marked the artist's 75th birthday, in 2019, with a new exhibition at her Casa Comum gallery, " Armanda Passos: 75 Anos, 75 Escritas" . José Saramago, Urbano Tavares Rodrigues, António Alçada Baptista, David Mourão-Ferreira, Fernando Pernes, Eduardo Prado Coelho, Vasco Graça Moura, José-Augusto França, Raquel Henriques da Silva, Lídia Jorge and Mário Cláudio were some of the authors who wrote about the your painting. In addition to national success, the artist managed to expand her horizons by exhibiting in countries such as Spain, Belgium, France and Germany, as a member of the group "Série Artistas Impressores". He has also represented Portugal in several international events, such as the V Biennal of European Graphic Art (Germany), the Exposition Internationale de la Gravure- "Intergrafia" (Poland) or the Center de la Gravure et de l'Image Imprimée (Belgium).

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