The black, white and grey stains on Vítor Pomar’s canvases seem to be a part of a greater continuum, of an enormous canvas of which we only see fragments. They are cuttings from a map of the act of painting itself, which Pomar made by covering the floor of his studio with the canvas, and then painted like a great cartography of his gesture on the horizontal, sweeping the floor with the marks that would later become isolated in paintings that thus took on their individuality.
The studio was, as he himself stated, his battlefield. In painting a continuum from which the canvases that would have a life of their own would be cut out, Vítor Pomar remade the story of the painting of Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline, constructing a genealogy of the painting itself, from the inscribing, ritual gesture to the limiting of the field of easel painting rejected in favour of a performing aspect of the act of painting.
Pomar’s procedure in the construction of his canvases seems to have come out of a cinematographic methodology, because they emerge from an idea of the pictorial space that, like the cinema space, is only possible because there is an “out of shot”.
It is also like this in the photographs he took in Mexico and in New York City, the result of a delicate anthropology of the places that make them moments in a constellation of images that define a place.
These paintings are from a period of great productivity in his work, which would be followed by a pause of almost a decade and a half, during which he followed his spiritual questions, leading him to Buddhism, Zen thought and several different forms of encounter with the philosophies of the mind. He would return to his activity in painting through colour, almost at the exact point where he had left off his career at a moment when another instance of need overcame artistic practice.
They are therefore radical paintings. They bear witness to a limit zone of combativeness with the limitation of the physical space of the studio, with the limitations of the body that generates images, and with the ritualised practices that they physically produce.
And for that reason their enormous freedom breathes the tension that turns them into great works.

Delfim Sardo


  • Title: Untitled
  • Creator: Vítor Pomar
  • Date Created: 1983
  • Location: Lisbon
  • Physical Dimensions: 193,5 x 143 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos - Culturgest
  • Medium: Acrylic on canvas
  • Photographer: © Laura Castro Caldas / Paulo Cintra
  • Inventory: 336293

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