To be modern is just like being elegant: it is not a way of dressing, but a way of being. To be modern is not to use the modern calligraphy, but to be the genuine discoverer of the new.
José de Almada Negreiros, conference O Desenho [Drawing], Madrid, 1927
A prolific and varied artist, Almada (1893-1970) embodied a heteroclite notion of the modern artist as a master of multiple crafts. To Almada, every art, in its various forms, was a part of the “spectacle” an artist was required to present to the public, so that every piece, gesture or attitude was a means to reveal a total idea of modernity.
The exhibition presents a body of work that reflects the complex, experimental, paradoxical and hybrid condition of modernity. Almada’s paintings and drawings are closely linked to the work he did in collaboration with architects, writers, publishers, musicians, set designers and stage directors. This selection also testifies to the importance of film and the persistence of the graphic narrative throughout Almada’s career. Included as well are a number of unpublished pieces and studies that will bring to light different aspects of José de Almada Negreiros’ creative work process.
Curators: Mariana Pinto dos Santos with Ana Vasconcelos