Graça Morais

Learn about the artist's universe through a text accompanied by a selection of works from the exhibition “All I want – Portuguese women artists from 1900 to 2020”

By Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Text by Lígia Afonso / Plano Nacional das Artes

Untitled (1999) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Centro de Arte Contemporânea Graça Morais, Bragança

The work and life of Graça Morais are steeped in the atmosphere and rural mythology of Trás-os-Montes, in the far northeast of Portugal. She splits her time between her studios in Lisbon and Vieiro-Freixiel, the village in northern Portugal where she was born in 1948. Vieiro-Freixiel is also home to people whose stories are interwoven with the characters, most of them female, that populate her drawings and paintings, in turn becoming muddled up with the artist herself: “I’m always telling my own story,” she says.

Untitled (1999) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Centro de Arte Contemporânea Graça Morais, Bragança

Her bucolic childhood fuelled a rich world of images, replete with dogs, cats, goats, flowers and quince trees, but also evincing a fear of the dark, of wolves, the hooting of owls, the violence of men and the cruelty of nature.

Untitled (1999) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Centro de Arte Contemporânea Graça Morais, Bragança

Untitled, 1999
Sepia ink, Indian ink and acrylic paint on paper
29,7 x 20,3 cm
Centro de Arte Contemporânea Graça Morais, Bragança, inv. CACGM-018 (C)

Untitled (1999) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Centro de Arte Contemporânea Graça Morais, Bragança

Untitled, 1999
Sepia ink, Indian ink and acrylic paint on paper
29,7 x 20,3 cm
Centro de Arte Contemporânea Graça Morais, Bragança, inv. CACGM-018 (F)

The Walk of Fear IX (2011) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Collection Antero José dos Reis Barroso

“I can get at things faster by drawing,” she says, and she does indeed draw briskly, on large canvases and in her personal everyday notebooks, weaving mythical, tragic choreographies that layer the secrets of working women, the restless motion of animals, the astounding, transformative cycles of nature and minds that contain entire villages. Yet she also portrays “a world transfigured” by barbarity, the drama of war and the exodus of refugees underlining “the courage of people who venture into hell in a quest to rescue others”.

The Walk of Fear IX (2011) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Collection Antero José dos Reis Barroso

The Walk of Fear IX, 2011
Pastel and charcoal on paper
102 x 152 cm
Collection Antero José dos Reis Barroso 

The Walk of Fear X (2011) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Collection of the Artist

The Walk of Fear X, 2011
Pastel and charcoal on paper
102 x 152 cm
Collection of the Artist 

The Walk of Fear VIII (2011) by Graça MoraisOriginal Source: Private Collection Varzim Sol, S.A. (Casino da Póvoa)

The Walk of Fear VIII, 2011
Pastel and charcoal on paper
102 x 152 cm
Private Collection Varzim Sol, S.A. (Casino da Póvoa)

Credits: Story

Selection of works presented at the exhibition All I want: Portuguese women artists from 1900 to 2020, in its first moment at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, within the scope of the cultural program that takes place in parallel to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021.

Exhibition organized by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in co-production with the Center of Contemporary Creation Olivier Debré, Tours, and with the collaboration of the Plano Nacional das Artes (Portugal).

Curators:
Helena de Freitas and Bruno Marchand


Text by Lígia Afonso / Plano Nacional das Artes
Selection of online resources Maria de Brito Matias


Learn more about Graça Morais's works presented in the context of this exhibition:
All I want: The Political

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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