Clearing | Manuel Rosa
Clareira, Manuel Rosa
Clareira, Manuel Rosa
Clareira, Manuel Rosa
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Manuel Rosa
23 February to 9 June

Manuel Rosa (Beja, 1953) is one of the most unique and original sculptors to have emerged in the 1980s in Portugal. His career gradually lost intensity as a result of the important work he has developed over recent decades as a book publisher.
After a long interregnum without producing any new works, in 2018 he presented a broad range of old and new works in the anthological exhibition in the National Society of Fine Arts (SNBA) in Lisbon. His works will now occupy a central area in the dense space of the CIAJG’s permanent collection, including large and small scale works in cast plaster, bronze or sand, several of which were produced specifically for this exhibition.
In formal, thematic and material terms, Manuel Rosa uses a broad artistic vocabulary. His work includes references to primitive and pre-classical sculpture, Arte Povera and the generation of British sculptors that emerged in the 1980s. It stands out for its strong feeling of timelessness, on the one hand, and intense connection to the land and local materials, on the other.
With disconcerting procedural freedom, he reiterates powerful archetypes – such as the house, boat, human body – together with everyday or industrial objects that have no specific aura – such as gourds, balls or car batteries. In this manner he traces an uninterrupted movement between energy and form, figure and shadow, wholeness and void, totality and fragment, small and large scale, ephemeral and perennial.
The intervention he has conceived for the space of the CIAJG's permanent collection establishes a dialogue with some of the most outstanding works on display or in storage - whether terracotta items from the pre-Columbian collection, or moulds of wax ex-voto offerings that depict different parts of the human body, derived from the religious and popular heritage of the city of Guimarães. He makes reference to the human figure, declined in a precarious balance between form and shapelesness, emerging from matter and confused with it, in a genetic movement.
Hands, mouths, concavities, cryptic spaces that store the secrets of oral history, dating back to before the invention of writing, which is shapeless and not set down in official manuals.

Curatorship Nuno Faria