João de Almeida

On first impression, everything in these drawings is familiar to us. We recognise the depicted places and objects, as well as light, space and time. But the more we look at them, the more everything becomes unreal and phantasmal.
For me, the world of these drawings is a world of concealment and occultation. Not in the sense that the artist is avoiding what he has depicted and seen, but in the sense that figures and visions intermingle, making it impossible to say what is real, more than real or less than real. Is everything magical or has everything become magical through the way it was depicted, framed, staged? In these black and white pastel drawings, the abolition of colour is not due to the materials used (João de Almeida could have used coloured pastels), but rather to the fact that resorting to colour would heighten their realism or unrealism. And these magnificent drawings, while having nothing to do with realism, have also nothing to do with its lack. They are drawings of the opposite, in which we are not sure of anything, except vision.

João Bénard da Costa, Director of Portuguese Film Archive - Film Museum




João de Almeida, with a long and successful career as an architect, began in Lisbon in the 1960's, is lately becoming also widely recognized as a painter. The medium he uses is pastel on large sheets of paper, usually black and white, more recently also coloured. The subjects stem from the observation of nature, of landscape – a landscape both recognisable and identifiable as a very concrete spot on the Portuguese coast that the artist regularly visits.

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© 2007-2008 João de Almeida   Last update: 26.May.2008       Credits         HTML 4.01   CSS   WAI AA