[open the box] Ângelo de Sousa

A MINIMAL BAROQUE by Delfim Sardo

By Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Sem título (Geométrico grande) (1967) by Ângelo de SousaCulturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Ângelo de Sousa

Untitled (Geométrico grande), 1967
Gouache, polyvinyl acetate, tableaux wax varnish on hardboard
169,5 x 137 cm
Inventory 240159
© José Fabião

This painting by Ângelo de Sousa is a sculpture made by other means.

It is a shape which, like the little paper coils we make when we are kids, makes colour fields sink beneath other colour fields.

It is somewhat curious to note that in order to describe a painting called Geométrico grande it is natural to have recourse to such simple and natural, childish and happy things as paper coils, but this seems to be a constant factor in Ângelo de Sousa’s work – in his paintings and his (large or small) sculptures, and in his (small) drawings, his films and his photographs. In any of the processes that he has used, an ever-present is this same capacity to grant a playful tone to a thought upon space, colour, the plane, the line or the cognitive and perceptive processes of the image, which is often complex and finally ironic. It is not usual to state this, but Ângelo de Sousa is a highly educated person, and his art is also sophisticated and subtle.

Sem título (Geométrico grande) (1967) by Ângelo de SousaCulturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

His abstract paintings – which were complex in 1967 and today are acid and biting – have always been simultaneously close to and distant from the minimal. Close to artists like Sol LeWitt, with his folds and unfoldings of planes, far from monochrome dryness. Indeed, Ângelo de Sousa’s painting, even when it seems to have only one colour, is the result of a complex texture weaving, in which a profound knowledge of the perceptive mechanisms and processes of colour contributes towards defining planes that are articulated within folds and breaks.

When we look at a painting by Ângelo de Sousa, we may, as is the case of this Geométrico grande, be tempted to state that finally his painting is baroque after all. That the folds and the pleats that construct it, as in the sculptures, are always excesses of counterpointillism. That the finely constructed golds are memories of spaces in which the drapings are only imagined through details and touches. Thus his painting is to be seen close up, like shapes that stand out in the space in musical structures.

It appears that Ângelo de Sousa’s Geométrico grande should be seen to the sound of Haendel.

Sem título (Geométrico grande) (1967) by Ângelo de SousaCulturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Biography
Ângelo de Sousa was born in 1938 in Lourenço Marques (Mozambique). He graduated in Painting at the Escola Superior de Belas-Artes do Porto (ESBAP), where he studied between 1955 and 1963. In 1967-1968 he studied in London, at the Saint Martin’s School of Art and at the Slade School of Fine Arts. He taught on the ESBAP Painting course from 1963 to 2000. He has lived and worked in Oporto since 1955. His work has been presented in several different institutions throughout Portugal. Of special note are his solo exhibitions at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves (Oporto, 1993 and 2001) and at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon, 2003).

Bibliography
Ângelo de Sousa, sem prata (cat.), Porto, Fundação de Serralves, 2001.
Ângelo de Sousa, escultura (cat.), Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2006.

Credits: Story

Text
© Delfim Sardo, 2009
Biography / Bibliography
© Mariana Viterbo Brandão, 2009
Translation
© David Alan Prescott, 2009

Story production (Collection Caixa Geral de Depósitos)
Lúcia Marques (coordinator)
Hugo Dinis (production assistant)

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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