Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
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ROOM 2

Serpents Ritual: African maternities in the José de Guimarães collection

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A journey through the circular times of mysteries and maternities.

 

For the first time in the museum, we will present a remarkable set of African statues from the José de Guimarães collection was acquired in Europe from the 1980s onwards. They are ancestral mothers, transmitters of models of vitality and beauty, based on local criteria and regional variations. The motifs that define them are universal: the child cradled in the arms or suspended on the back, the bare breasts and belly, the serene gaze.

 

An attempt to thematise African art, in this case, through the motif of motherhood, runs the risk of creating “a closed system of meanings and attributions that shapes the practices of creation, circulation and collection”. The continental scale and diversity of artistic, social and cultural traditions must be taken into account when observing these objects.

 

In José de Guimarães’ works we see the serpent symbol around him, that questions and shelter the works. We also see the still-life paintings by Maria Amélia Coutinho (1916-2004), the artist’s mother, and Vanguarda Viperina (1985), and the record of an action by Brazilian artist Tunga (1952-2016). The harmonious principle of the floral drawings and the serpent used in transformational rituals render the theme of motherhood and duality more complex.

FOR ALL AGES

Maria Amélia Coutinho was born in Guimarães in 1916, the daughter of José da Rocha Coutinho and Maria Mendes Simões. She attended the College of Nossa Senhora da Conceição until 1931, and then completed courses in Commerce, Design and Embroidery in the Francisco de Holanda Industrial and Commercial School, in Guimarães, between 1931 and 1937, studying under the professors, José de Pina, Dr. Fernando Mattos Chaves and the sculptor, António d’Azevedo. She married Joaquim Fernandes Marques in 1939 and they had three children: José Maria (the artist José de Guimarães), Joaquim Maria and Maria José. She initially devoted herself to caring for and educating her children and then to social and welfare causes in the Parish of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, in Guimarães. She died on November 16, 2004.


Tunga An architect by training, the Brazilian artist, Tunga (Palmares, Pernambuco 1952 – Rio de Janeiro, 2016), has explored different languages, from the visual arts to literature, including sculpture, installation, drawing, watercolour painting, engraving, video, text and installations. His works often draw on a repertoire that derives from different fields of knowledge, such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, chemistry, alchemy, as well as memories and fictions. References to sexuality and eroticism can be seen in the action, Vanguarda Viperina, which is exhibited at the CIAJG, and was made by Tunga in the 1980s and 1990s, in Brazil and the USA. A creature of nature that represents the ills of the world, the serpent is a mediating figure between the visible and invisible worlds, between evil and good. Among the artist’s vast work, this action is representative of the plastic force of the theme of eroticism: the life drive (eros) and the death drive (thanatos).

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FOR ALL AGES

Maria Amélia Coutinho was born in Guimarães in 1916, the daughter of José da Rocha Coutinho and Maria Mendes Simões. She attended the College of Nossa Senhora da Conceição until 1931, and then completed courses in Commerce, Design and Embroidery in the Francisco de Holanda Industrial and Commercial School, in Guimarães, between 1931 and 1937, studying under the professors, José de Pina, Dr. Fernando Mattos Chaves and the sculptor, António d’Azevedo. She married Joaquim Fernandes Marques in 1939 and they had three children: José Maria (the artist José de Guimarães), Joaquim Maria and Maria José. She initially devoted herself to caring for and educating her children and then to social and welfare causes in the Parish of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, in Guimarães. She died on November 16, 2004.


Tunga An architect by training, the Brazilian artist, Tunga (Palmares, Pernambuco 1952 – Rio de Janeiro, 2016), has explored different languages, from the visual arts to literature, including sculpture, installation, drawing, watercolour painting, engraving, video, text and installations. His works often draw on a repertoire that derives from different fields of knowledge, such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, chemistry, alchemy, as well as memories and fictions. References to sexuality and eroticism can be seen in the action, Vanguarda Viperina, which is exhibited at the CIAJG, and was made by Tunga in the 1980s and 1990s, in Brazil and the USA. A creature of nature that represents the ills of the world, the serpent is a mediating figure between the visible and invisible worlds, between evil and good. Among the artist’s vast work, this action is representative of the plastic force of the theme of eroticism: the life drive (eros) and the death drive (thanatos).

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