This exhibition features works by Lourdes Castro (Funchal, 1930) from the 1960s. Resorting to different media – publications, drawing, embroidery, plexiglass –, and sometimes produced together with other artists, these works stress the importance of collaborations, and of the relationship between art and everyday life, in her artistic practice.

Originally linked to French nouveau réalisme – a movement which emphasized the relationship between art and reality, namely with the urban visual landscapes that had become increasingly saturated with signs and objects whose obsolescence had accelerated more and more after WWII –  Lourdes Castro’s trajectory has produced a resolutely singular oeuvre in which silhouettes and shadows take centre stage.

Aside from the magazine KWY (1958–1963) and the work created together with  Francisco Tropa for the 1998 São Paulo Biennale – two examples of the importance given to collaborative work –, the exhibition features pieces from the context of nouveau réalisme: collages and assemblages of everyday objects coated in aluminium paint; posters advertising exhibitions and shadow-theatre shows (in close collaboration with Manuel Zimbro) dominated by what would become her theme of choice after the mid-1960s, i.e., the Shadow; plexiglass works, sheet-embroidered outlines of lying shadows and the series of drawings produced in Paris (1980) and Madeira (1984/87) Sombras à volta de um centro [Shadows around a centre]–, which were featured at the artist’s 2003 show at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. In their simplicity, these drawings depict the shadows of various flowers and plants (including camelias, geraniums, lilacs, daisies, myosotis, daffodils, rosemallows, roses, parsley, tulips and palm leaves) with such natural ease that no effort or skill are apparent, powerfully revealing the artist’s desire to see ‘always for the first time and first-hand’. More than an intimate plant and flower diary, these drawings are a treatise on attention, on being fully present ‘here and now’. They are, in that sense, testimonies of an ‘ephemeral eternity’, and of the relationship between art and Life as it is.

Image: Rita Burmester, © Fundação de Serralves, Porto.

Serralves Foundation

Rua Dom João de Castro, 210

4150-417 Porto, Portugal