Surrealism At The Cupertino De Miranda Foundation

Discover Portuguese surrealism with artists Mário Cesariny, Cruzeiro Seixas, Julio and Fernando Lemos, who emphasized the role of the unconscious in their works.

By Rede Portuguesa de Arte Contemporânea a Norte (RPAC – Norte)

Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Occultist Fernando Pessoa (1957/1981) by Mário CesarinyOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Surrealism

An artistic and literary movement created in Paris in the early 20th century by André Breton. Strongly influenced by Freud's psychoanalytic theories, Surrealism highlights the role of the unconscious in creative activity, without any control exercised by reason and alien to any aesthetic or moral concerns.

Story of the one winged-figures (1970) by Cruzeiro SeixasOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Dream

Dreams were the object of study of surrealists as well as an inspiration. A fascinating biological function that serves to organise our minds, forget what is not relevant and consolidate memories. When we dream, our minds create free associations between the conscious and unconscious.

Untitled (1933) by JulioOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Surrealism in Portugal

Surrealism peaked between the two World Wars, but arrived in Portugal much later. Restrained by Estado Novo’s repressive policy, it was limited to small guerrilla actions, according to Mário Cesariny.

Blown figures (1947) by Mário CesarinyOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Surrealist Techniques

Surrealists often used various techniques based on automatism, chance and the unconscious, which allowed artists to unlock their creative potential and liberated them from control and reason.

Untitled (1973) by Mário CesarinyOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Aquamoto and Soprofigure

Surrealists often made use of Chinese ink. By dipping a sheet with splashes of Chinese ink in water, they created the Aquamoto. 

If they chose to blow the ink with a straw, they created the Soprofigure. Both water and the act of  blowing could not be fully controlled. 

“Aquamoto” Workshop Video, held at the FCM Educational Service.

“Soprofigure” Workshop Video, held at the FCM Educational Service.

Untitled (exquisite corpse) (1974) by Raúl Perez and Cruzeiro SeixasOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Exquisite corpse (cadavre exquis)

By definition,  cadavre exquis is a type of collaborative writing or drawing, where a piece of paper is handed out folded to another person, without that person being aware of what has been drawn or written, so that they can freely continue the composition of images or words.

“Exquisite corpse” workshop video, held at the FCM Educational Service.

Untitled (1948) by JulioOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Surrealist Artists

Surrealist artists are guided by the free manifestation of imagination, with no boundaries as to a critical spirit, embracing their psychic impulses.

Untitled (1973) by Mário CesarinyOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Mário Cesariny

Poet and painter, considered one of the masters of Portuguese Visual and Literary Surrealism.

He co-founded the Lisbon Surrealist Group (1947) and The Surrealists (1948) and stood out for his pioneering introduction of new techniques, exploration of materials and for instilling humour, irony, criticism, irreverence and drama in his creations.

Um pouco antes da foda/ Hoje não fodemos, tá bem? by Mário CesarinyOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Even with the end of the surrealist movement, Mário Cesariny continued to develop a brilliant career, becoming a promoter and sponsor of several exhibitions in Portugal and abroad.

Untitled by Cruzeiro SeixasOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Cruzeiro Seixas

A painter and poet, his extensive work includes surrealist objects. He lived in Angola and fell in love with ethnography and African art, which inspired part of his work. He was a cultural promoter and collector, and contributed to the growth of the Museum's collection.

Untitled (2001) by Cruzeiro SeixasOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Cruzeiro Seixas joined the surrealist movement in 1949. He pursued the surrealist action until his death, within a path of his own, by honing his skills in drawing, in which he created a very personal universe with great technical expertise. 

He depicted a "strange and cruel" imaginary world in his work through contrasts between blacks and whites.

Untitled (1939) by JulioOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Julio

Poet, painter and civil engineer. He attended the Painting course at the School of Fine Arts in Porto and was an illustrator for the magazine Presença, managed by his brother and poet José Régio. 

He signed his work as Julio, in addition to the alias Saúl Dias, in his literary work.

Form (1935) by JulioOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Form

Julio was considered one of the first artists to introduce surrealist imagery in Portugal, along with António Pedro and António Dacosta, because of a trip he made to Paris where he was exposed to this aesthetics.

Me (1949/1952) by Fernando LemosOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Fernando Lemos

Photographer, illustrator, poet, designer, professor and artistic director of various cultural institutions. Despite joining the surrealist movement (1949), he left Portugal due to his opposition to Salazar’s dictatorial regime, finally settling in São Paulo.

Berlengas (1947/1949) by Fernando LemosOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Berlengas

On a trip to the Berlengas Islands, accompanied by Marcelino Vespeira, Berlengas began to do oil paintings and revealed his abstractive tendencies. In photography, he used the manipulation of negatives, solarisation, superimposition, double exposure, among other typically surrealist techniques.

Alexandre O'Neill with hands (1949/1952) by Fernando LemosOriginal Source: Fundação Cupertino de Miranda

Personalities

He portrayed intellectuals, artists and other personalities, most of whom were persecuted by the International and State Defense Police (PIDE). During his exile in Brazil, he reunited with some of them.

Credits: Story

More information at

Fundação Cupertino de Miranda - Museu do Surrealismo
Rede Portuguesa de Arte Contemporânea a Norte

Exhibition 

 
Surrealism at FCM
Permanent Collection
Cupertino de Miranda Foundation, Vila Nova de Famalicão 
 
Curatorship and Coordination
Marlene Oliveira
Perfecto E. Cuadrado
 
Production
Marlene Oliveira (Direction)
Duarte Salgado
Eduarda Alves
Joana Rosa de Sousa
Olívia Ribeiro
 
Assembly team
José Manuel Peixoto
 
Photography
Cupertino de Miranda Foundation, Guilherme Carmelo and Hugo Lagarto.
 
All rights reserved. This presentation cannot be reproduced and/or transmitted in any way and/or by any means, without authorization by the Cupertino de Miranda Foundation. This includes photocopying, recording or computerised information.
 
We have endeavoured all our efforts to credit images appropriately where applicable. Any errors or omissions are unintentional and should be reported to the Cupertino de Miranda Foundation.

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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