2003 . 2010
These artworks seem to be born from simple and uncomplicated elaboration. But only apparently. Truly, its construction is rather prolonged and really meticulously worked, that it could divide itself in four distinct phases. The artist began a structured background, putting diverse layers and using recurrently grey tones. Over this background he gathered diverse spaces, one geometrical others random, one of balanced chromatics, using almost always two colours, sometimes complementary, other times neighbourly colours or belonging to the same family. Then comes the figuration, the representation. All consisting of simple drawings of a feminine faces, sometimes androgynous, executed in energetic strokes brought in dense black outlines, powerfully present, occupying a big area of the canvas surface.
Faces of renaissance madonas
José Paulo Leite de Abreu
Director and Curator of the Museum Pio XII
We are itinerary. Life progresses and us with it. The sensations multiply, the events shape us, others exert their influence on us, the knowledge of the others provokes us, our imagination is fertile.
On the itinerary of many stand out the followers, the imitator – saying no to fertility; leading them to the lack of adventure, the deplorable lack of creativity, the too protected security not daring new paths, the tedium of roads never opened to novelty. There are others, however, that decide to innovate; breaking with traditional schemes and schools; painting reality with new colours, audacious, nonconformist; that ruminate the reality to the point of transforming it into a new one, into an auto-reality. That is the most relevant and most essential I can say about the artist Pintomeira.
He studied and developed himself. He ran all over the world, the world of the art and the world of the life. He went to Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam. He got in contact with schools and art movements (some of them influenced him and still today are lurking): surrealism, the Cobra Group or the New Line, Pop Art...
Pintomeira is, above all, a nonconformist, a poet of the painting, an innovator in creating new shapes and new chromatic fields.
In this struggle for independence, shapes get loose, they only insinuate themselves, suggesting more than what they really say. And even when geometry gets understandable and colours harmonize themselves to give balance to what you’re contemplating, the creative process takes over the formal one.
In Pintomeira’s artwork is imperative to give relevance to the contours, which focus the sight and focus the interlocutor’s sight, underlining centralities and acting as a uterus where the essence of the message being transmitted remains hidden and protected.
It also combines various capacities, not just of the brush, but also of the photo and of the graphic designer.
In the theme Faces a series of acrylics on canvas, mixed media on paper and ceramics, are all there: the painter; the photographer; the designer. All loose. All creative. The primary colours in complementary combinations on a grey background. The faces are depurated and drawn in black outlines on an abstract background.
As inspiration, Pintomeira let himself to be carried until the beginning of Modern Age, this prosperous period of human creativity and sacred respect for classic art. In fact, the faces that his canvases reproduce are freely inspired from the Renaissance Madonna’s. Stylized. Convulsed. Quietly provocative.
While in Amsterdam, at the beginning of the seventies decade, Pintomeira wrote to his friends. In one of those remaining "Condemned Letters", he depicted himself in a way that, no one could have done better. And his words (autobiographical), which I recognize being entirely true and hereby I transcribe in a way of appreciation, were these:
"Nothing great and sublime was ever created without exaltation and passion! Never puritan, I always celebrate the new idea. I raise my glass and drink to my constant rebirth. In this way, I suppress the mist and illuminate the space between me and the blank canvas to feel the brush’s labour, the aroma of the pigment, around the ecstasy of the colour and the shape. Then, nothing exists that has not spouted from my entrails, passing through the blue hall of my unconscious”.
Faces and figuration
In the sixties and the seventies decades arises in the world of the visual arts a movement called New Figuration. Emerging young artists from various countries, rejecting the minimal and the conceptual art and even the abstractionism, handed themselves, with strong conviction, over to a new artistic expression, exploring in a firmly way, the human figure and everything that could be related to her. That movement represented an assumption of the figure as the essential subject being used in the configuration of their artworks. The artist, in a moment of conscious decision making, and taking over a new perception about the world around him, goes, in a critical manner and in multiple ways, to assume a new figurative expression around the quotidian and popular subjects and the socio-political and cultural contents.
This new post abstractionist figuration took various denominations: Figuration Libre, the New Expressionists, the New Fauves, the Bad Painting, the Transvanguarda, and is legitimate to include, also here, the Art Graffiti. These vanguards, that followed themselves very rapidly and in diverse countries, made to emerge prominent artists, namely: the Germans Georg Bazelitz, Jorg Immendorf, A.R. Penck, Anselm Kiefer and Markus Lupertus, the Italians Enzo Cucchi, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Mimmo Paladino, The Greek Janis Kounelli, the Americans Eric Fishl, Julian Shnable, Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat, the French Hervé di Rosa, Robert Combas Remi Blanchard and Blek Le Rat and the Dutch Rob Scholte and Herman Brood.
A new generation of artists, wanting to express a reaction against the conceptual and the minimal art, initiate a return to the use of the brushes, the acrylics, the spray canes and the canvas, creating a new aesthetical conception of the figurative art, bringing a personal and free expression to this new artistc language.
Pintomeira entered this New Figuration in the beginning of the 90s decade, producing the theme Contours. These artworks are strongly figurative, depurated and stylized, being characterized by the large outlines and a particular chromatic intensity. It is not over his Contours phase that we are going to analyze here but, is the theme Faces that Pintomeira created between 2003 and 2010 that is now in order. In the early years, these artworks could be summarized to some simple drawings and acrylics of faces, mostly female, both on cartoon, and elaborated in fast and simple lines. As Pintomeira produced the New Line between 1999 and 2007, we can simply conclude that he was, during four years, simultaneously, working on two themes. Considering that those first Faces were still an experimental work, in fact, in that period, the greatest relevance was given to the theme New Line constituted by acrylics and mixed media works painted on large canvas. Only from 2007, once finished the New Line series and until 2011, the theme Faces occupied, assumedly, his studio space. These paintings were now much more elaborated, also on large canvas and showing us a new composition and imagetic configuration. The background, brought generally on gray tones, sustains fields built in layers upon layers of primary colors, complementary or of the same family, and completed by continuous or dashed lines, geometrics figures, spots and drippings of gestualism, displaying an abstract expression to an area where was going to arise the fundamental and identifying subject of the Faces theme. Over that pictorial surface, of abstractionist style, are drawn the stylized, mannerist, and large Faces, brought by brushstrokes of robust, and energetic black lines. These enormous faces drawings, female or androgynous, resemble the Renaissance Madonna’s of Rafael or of Sandro Botticelli, with a contemplative and merciful appearance, thinking of Stabat Mater Dolorosa.
Pintomeira, that had built already a classical figurative imagetic during his surrealist period, bring us now Faces, painted in a free and personal signature, situated inside the frontiers of the New Figuration or the Figuration Libre.