Hélio Luís on Juxtapoz

Art & Culture Magazin
“Beyond Taprobana” is a line from the Lusiad, a Classical epic poem written by the Portuguese XVI century poet Camões. Taprobana was an ancient Greek name for an island in the Indian Ocean, believed to be present- day Sri Lanka. This indefinite place, a terrain between fiction and reality, is an adept metaphor for the exhibition’s painted landscapes, rooted in concrete spaces and history, but not representative of actual places in the world.

These landscapes emerge through an interplay between imagination and the painting process, accidents and unpredictability carving new paths through layers of paint. Remnants of Portugal’s history of colonial sailing expeditions are woven into the compositions, just as the imagery of foreign lands and “exotic” places are ever- present in the country’s most famous art and literature. These travels, which took the first Europeans to uncharted territories in Africa, South America, India, China and Japan, were also at the origin of slave trade and of the longest-lasting European colonial empire, which ended in the 1970’s after a long and brutal war whose scars remain largely to be dealt with.
Feb 18, 2022