Salette Tavares

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

Alquerubim (1979) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Coleção Secretaria de Estado da Cultura on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto

Salette Tavares was a highly accomplished and interventionist artist who spanned a great many genres. A distinguished poet, critic, essayist, translator and performer, she was a pioneer of performance, concrete poetry, spatial poetry and conceptual art, but she also worked as an educator and cultural agitator and headed up various associations. As the artist behind an extensive body of radical and provocative work, she declared that “to make something is the most religious service that a human being can perform”.

Alquerubim (1979) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Coleção Secretaria de Estado da Cultura on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto

Alquerubim, 1979
Engraving on aluminium
100 x 100 cm
Portuguese State Contemporary Art Collection on loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, inv. SC 094

Ourobesouro (1965) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Collection Salette Brandão

Ourobesouro, 1965
Crystal with golden letters
32,5 x 32,8 x 11,5 cm
Collection Salette Brandão

Spider (1963) by Salette TavaresCalouste Gulbenkian Museum

Spider, 1963
Paper, typographic print; Ed. 75/100
40 x 40 cm
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – Centro de Arte Moderna, inv. 15GP4019

Maquinin (1963) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Private Collection of Tiago Aranda Vianna da Motta Brandão

Her work explores the possibilities of combining writing, images, the page, body and space, resulting in unique objects and poems that defy and subvert the rules of language. Her playful, parodic visual exploration of the word using graphic and phonetic elements and the way in which she transforms mundane objects into poetic experiences inform her experimentation with form and communication. This is manifested in installations, typography, screen printing, prints, embroidery and tapestry.

Maquinin (1963) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Private Collection of Tiago Aranda Vianna da Motta Brandão

Maquinin, 1963
Stainless steel
40 x 40 x 200 cm
Private Collection of Tiago Aranda Vianna da Motta Brandão

Mer de Lyriques (1963) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Collection Salette Brandão

Mer de Lyriques, 1963
Typography on paper; Ed. 79/100
40 x 40 cm
Collection Salette Brandão

Wounded vase (1959/1963) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Collection Salette Brandão

Wounded vase, 1959-1963
Ceramics
14 x ø 20 cm
Collection Salette Brandão

Semicolon vase (1959/1963) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Collection Salette Brandão

“I’m still on close terms with my inner child,” she says, explaining the constant presence of humour, playfulness, fun, mischief and experimentation as the “natural and permanent state” of her work. The “creative dialogues” that she initially sets up with her family take their cue from her status as artist/woman/mother. These test our creative perception and call for active participation from viewers.

Semicolon vase (1959/1963) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Collection Salette Brandão

Semicolon vase, 1959-1963
Ceramics
24 x ø 21,5 cm
Collection Salette Brandão

QUEL AIR CLAIR (1963) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Collection Salette Brandão

QUEL AIR CLAIR, 1963
Typography on paper; Ed. 59/100
40 x 40 cm
Collection Salette Brandão

Fun-nel (1960s) by Salette TavaresOriginal Source: Collection Salette Brandão

Fun-nel, 1960s
Embroidered linen
20 x 24,5 x 20 cm
Collection Salette Brandão

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 Salette Tavares's works presented in the context of this exhibition:
All I want: The Word
All I want: The Space of Writing

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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