Lourdes Castro

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

Blue Box (1963) by Lourdes CastroCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Lourdes Castro lived in Paris from 1958 onward. Together with other young Portuguese artists in cultural exile there, including René Bértholo, António Costa Pinheiro, Gonçalo Duarte, José Escada and João Vieira, she founded the magazine KWY, which would feature contributions from figures such as Christo and Jan Voss. She was constantly creating other books and albums, and played freely with genres, formats, supports and techniques.

Blue Box (1963) by Lourdes CastroCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Blue Box, 1963
Paint and assemblage on wood
52 x 52 x 20 cm
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – Centro de Arte Moderna, inv. 99E808

Wood box (1963) by Lourdes CastroCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Wood box, 1963
Paint and assemblage on wood
51,7 x 51,7 x 11,5 cm
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – Centro de Arte Moderna, inv. 99E809

Letters and Comb (1962) by Lourdes CastroCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Her penchant for letters, poetry and typography is also apparent from the artist’s high relief and bas-reliefs, created through the assembly, collaging and painting of everyday and domestic objects in boxes. One fundamental practice in her work is to capture, project and then trace the outline of the shadow of objects, especially plants and her own friends. Painted onto canvas, embroidered on sheets or cut out of acrylic, these transposed silhouettes summon a presence within absence, like a twin figure, a reincarnation of the original.

Ecumbent shadows (1970) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto

“It’s the littlest thing that I can grasp of a person,” says the artist. Ghostly, floating and transparent, the figures kiss, smoke and sleep, while a Shadow Play depicts the artist performing mundane chores.

Letters and Comb (1962) by Lourdes CastroCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Letters and Comb, 1962
Paint and collage on canvas
95,5 x 63,5 x 3,5 cm
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – Centro de Arte Moderna,  inv. 10P1623

Christa Maar's projected shadow (1968) by Lourdes CastroCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Christa Maar's projected shadow, 1968
Glycerophtalic paint on plexiglas
100,5 x 80 x 4,5 cm
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – Centro de Arte Moderna,  inv. 83P567

Adami's projected shadow (Paris) (1967) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto

Adami's projected shadow (Paris), 1967
Painted plexiglas
130 x 100 x 6 cm
Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, inv. FS0762

Adami's projected shadow (Paris) (1966) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto

Adami's projected shadow (Paris), 1966 
Graphite and marker pen on paper mounted on canvas
142,3 x 91,5 cm
Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, inv. FS 1775

Marta Minujín's projected shadow (1963) by Lourdes CastroCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Marta Minujín's projected shadow, 1963
Glycerophtalic paint on canvas
84,5 x 103,5 x 3 cm
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – Centro de Arte Moderna,  inv. 10P1624

Ecumbent shadows (1970) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto

Ecumbent shadows, 1970
Hand embroydered cloth
310 x 240 cm
Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, inv. FS 0662

Shadows around a centre (Daisies) (1980) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Collection LC on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea

In 1983 she and the artist Manuel Zimbro returned to Madeira, the island on which she had been born in 1930. Castro lives there to this day, in a house with a garden that she describes as her canvas.

Shadows around a centre (Daisies) (1980) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Collection LC on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea

Shadows around a centre (Daisies), 1980
Lithograph, natural elements; frame designed by Manuel Zimbro
84,5 x 84,5 cm
Collection LC on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, inv. DA 0160

Shadows around a centre (Daisies) (1980) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Collection LC on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea

Shadows around a centre (Daisies), 1980
Silver pencil on paper; frame designed by Manuel Zimbro
84,5 x 84,5 cm
Collection LC on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, inv. DA 0432

Shadows around a centre (Cultivated fields / Lentils) (1985) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Collection LC on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea

Shadows around a centre (Cultivated fields / Lentils), 1985
Crayon, coloured pencil and collage on paper; frame designed by Manuel Zimbro
84,5 x 84,5 cm
Collection LC on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, inv. DA 0162

Grand Herbier d’Ombres (1972) by Lourdes CastroOriginal Source: Nouveau Musée Nationale de Monaco

Grand Herbier d’Ombres, 1972
104 prints on heliographic paper, cardboard portfolio
Variable dimensions
Nouveau Musée Nationale de Monaco, inv. 2012.14.1

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 Lourdes Castro's works presented in the context of this exhibition:
All I want: The Word
All I want: Le Vivant
All I want: Vernacular Life

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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Over 240 artworks by more than 40 women: Explore the new exhibition celebrating Portuguese women artists from 1900 to 2020
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