Biography - Pintomeira

Pintomeira - Photo

Pintomeira was born in Deocriste, Viana do Castelo – Portugal. He enters, in 1957, the Seminary School which he abandons in 1961, after considering that he had no vocation to the priesthood.

In 1965 he finishes his high school studies and leaves behind his education in architecture, choosing to begin an artistic career.

In 1966 he holds his first exhibition in the, then existing, gallery Divulgação, in Viana do Castelo.

Between 1967 and 1972 he is in Lisbon. He frequents a collective Studio in the Mouraria District, where he meets the surrealist painter Raul Perez and other emergent artists with whom he participates in several anti establishment shows on the Rossio Square sidewalks. During that period of time he holds some exhibitions and gets acquainted with the much older Mario Casariny, Cruzeiro Seixas and other painters belonging to the Portuguese surrealist movement.

In 1972, after a short stay in Africa, he leaves to Paris in the company of the Dutch painter and model Marijke de Hartog, who he knows in Portugal. The two decide to move, later, to Amsterdam-Netherlands, where they get married in 1976. In the Duch capital, Pintomeira opens his Studio to keep on working on his surrealism he brought with him from Lisbon, where, some years before, he had been influenced by his older colleagues.

Once failed the possibility of admission to the Nederlandse Filmacademie (Dutch Film Academy), one of the reasons that led him to leave Portugal, Pintomeira attends, between 1978-1979, the CREA | Cultureel Studentencentrum van de Universiteit van Amsterdam) where he studies painting and film. After a few exhibitions in the Netherlands, he holds in 1978 his first show in Paris at the Galerie Entremonde. In that same year, he participates in the Salon Metamorphoses rendering homage to the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte, held at the Grand Palais des Beaux Arts in Paris. With this participation, he decides to put an end to his surrealist period. About this surrealist journey (1967-1978), Luis Chaves, an art historian, writes in the catalogue of a retrospective exhibition held in 2005 at the Municipal Museum of Viana do Castelo: "We fall back until the seventies of the XX century to get in contact with his passage through the Surrealism. We found his living with Cesariny, Raul Perez and others linked to this movement, during his stay in Lisbon (1967-1972). However, it will be in Paris and later in Amsterdam, that all the conventions and barriers come apart to make way for an expression free of all rational and moral concerns, resulting from the idea introduced by André Breton: the psychic automatism."

During the decade of the 1980s in his studio in Amsterdam, Pintomeira receives various influences, the most important coming from the group CoBrA (aggregation of initial letters of the cities of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam) in which are included great names such as Karel Appel, Corneille, Asger Jorn, Lucebert and Pierre Alechinsky. Some influences of that movement, such as the thick textures, the automatic drawing, the bright and primary colors in complementary combinations, and yet the simple motifs, the links to surrealism and primitive art, accompanied the artist in the years to come.

In the decade of the 1990s he starts the series named Contours: an innovation that consists in a stylization and depuration of the figure, which results in the constant exercise and experimentation around the contour (outline), making it predominant through its enlargement, extension and multiplication. Donald Meyer, writer and art critic, writes in the book “Contours . Contornos” edited by Appelbloesem Pers from Amsterdam-Holland: "The brush stroke is deeply personal and invites the viewer to go through all those outlines giving them the possibility to admire the picture or object in the comfort of the amphitheatre suburbs. The precision, almost mathematical of all those lines and contours, accentuates a concern in seeking for harmony that smooth a more rational or dramatic observation from the memory. However, this precision in searching for balance does not mean austerity or imprisonment of the lyrical. ... This linear exuberance, these thick strokes that intersect and interconnect, lead to new areas and offer movement and rhythm to a static representation or inspire a sense of dynamism and excitement to a depurated figure".

During the decade of the nineties, Pintomeira presents his work in several solo exhibitions and participates in various collective ones.

In 1999 Pintomeira leaves Amsterdam and returns to Portugal, settling in his family house in Deocriste, Viana do Castelo. The work he produces in his new studio in the North of the country gives birth to a wide range of figurative paintings, still with the Cobra group influences. This new series of acrylics, graphite and mixed media on canvas and cardboard got the name "New Line". About this work produced between 1999 and 2007, Alberto A. Abreu, a historian, writer and curator, wrote: "The dematerialization of the objects was the way followed by Pintomeira in a New Line where the contour ended up to be reduced to a fillet, the images of the objects appear stylized, being now reduced to silhouettes without color or respect for the other objects of the picture, in a combination of textures which give them rhythm, unreality, statute of "pure forms". In this environment, Pintomeira put square grids, birds, feminine silhouettes, profile faces, fruits; and balconies, and moons, and faces with eyes of wonder".

Between 2003 and 2010, and alternating with "New Line" Pintomeira also produces a vast work on canvas and paper to which is attributed, years later, the name "Faces".

In 2007, Pintomeira installs his new painting and photography studio in the city of Braga, where he also resides. This same year marks a turning point in his figurative work. All the CoBra influences and the dense contours disappear. The theme "Interiors" presents works related to the pop art with influences of the graphical design. The figure is clearly present and the interior scenes denounce theatrical representations. This composition of objects and human figures brought to the canvas surface brings us to a kind of theater representation on the stage. In the catalogue of an exhibition of "Interiors", Moisés de Lemos Martins, sociologist/writer and professor at the University of Minho, wrote: "In Interiors these spaces that articulate the interior with the exterior are, however rare. At this aesthetic point, marked by the Pop Art and by Graphic Design, Pintomeira describes, in general terms, enclosed places in themselves, without escape lines or horizon. This proceeding obeys to the principles of Minimalist Art. The artist creates some work that lies between painting, sculpture and architecture, by favouring the exhibition space. This space, both continuous and discontinuous, is based on the autonomy of the inner world and does not seem to conceive any exterior. But it is not inconceivable that this landscape may also be perceived from the outside, while the interior is necessarily hidden by a façade."

In 2009 and 2010 the theme "Other Faces" is produced. These new artworks represent photographs of faces collected from the media or internet researches. These faces go through a big scale digital printing on canvas, being, posteriorly, glued to the main canvas. The following step consists in an intervention with acrylic painting and introducing dense brush strokes, lines, geometrical shapes and streaking. The photography, the graphic design, the advertising and the pop art are, here, very present.

About this series, Moisés de Lemos Martins, again, is the one who writes in the catalogue that accompanied the exhibition entitled "OtherFaces: "In this exhibition, with ten exclusively figurative paintings, the language of the artist unties the reality in a total process of man made pictures, which pass the non-place of impersonality, as if they were objects produced for consumption. In a neutral and documentary style, these portraits are, indeed, the impersonality, but also show the isolation. The critical space, in the presence of a subject, does not exist in them; There is only the paradoxical space of their disappearance."

In 2011 appears "Exteriors" that complements "Interiors" produced between 2008 and 2009. It consists of a series of works that bring together figures of everyday life in urban scenarios, crossing street crosswalks, where the road signs are heavily exploited. José Luis Ferreira, sociologist, writer, researcher of art and Academic Member AAI/AIE-International Association for Aesthetics, wrote in the exhibition catalogue "Exteriores. "Interiores" “... the regularity of linear line, expanded to wide, straight or curved track ... the docking of signs, the pictogram, the symbolic and cultural determinant load - the light - in the Global Village, where no one loses the sense of [...] "solid and volatile things" [...] coexistent, inside and outside (in the inside and outside), of all that is beautiful, in the existence of the things, whether natural or artificial... Therefore, I admit that it should be considered, while a strict point of view and only methodological - taxonomic, atavistic, or pragmatic - any essential differentiation between Urban Exteriors and Domestic Interiors, in the painter's pictorial work... "

In 2013, Pintomeira returns to the Photography. A passage, though brief, by photographic expression, had already been made, in 1979, in Amsterdam. "Somewhere" is, now, the title chosen for the work produced in his studio, with agency models. The choice of a model, in this case female ones, for the central subject of this photographic work, was determined by the fact that, in most of his artworks, the human figure is, mostly, also, its main element. Thus, the transition from painting to photography was consequent, producing, in one and other, a figurative work. These photographs have, also, the elements (influences) of graphic arts, design, advertising and pop art, following the line he used in th making of “Interiors . Exteriors.”

In 2015, Pintomeira starts the production of a new series entitled "Cutouts". The artist used a distinct technic, more comprehensive and more elaborated. He created most of his shapes, usually faces, on a non-assembled canvas. He used then scissors to cut it randomly, rearranging the cuted fragments on the ground of his studio, until he reached the final composition which pleased him. These cuted pieces are then glued on the main canvas now mounted on a wooden frame. In the catalogue edited to accompany various Cutouts exhibits, Ramon Villares, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Santiago de Compostela and President of the Galician Cultural Council, writes: “Pintomeira possesses technical expertise, intellectual training, knowledge of national and international painting’s paths and, beyond that, a strong experimental will. Therefore, we end up to the new proposal of his biography, which is the cut-outs series, inspired by the artwork Henri Matisse developed during the final years of his life and that, was recently exposed in all its magnitude in the prestigious museums of NOMA and Tate Modern. For Matisse, that project had been a crepuscular solution; for Pintomeira it is, on the contrary, a new experience for its artistic trajectory maturity. After wondering into surreal or accommodating figurative art with identity’s necessity, which marked most of his artwork, now is more about understanding the actual world, into which the fragmentary, the recycled, but also the snips being part of present society’s speech, of its fears and challenges.”

In 2016, Pintomeira starts the production of "New Faces". Some photographs produced during the sessions in his Studio for the theme "Somewhere", are now worked with acrylics, pastels, graphite and other materials. This mixed technique produces figurative works (Faces), where photography appears mixed with painting. These two artistic languages, painting and photography, end up cohabiting the same space, interacting and dialoging visually, giving to the spectator an observation of a united whole and to the artist two distinct pathways in a unified conjunct.

Pintomeira photographed and painted, combining the two aesthetical concepts over the same physic area, without conflicts nor dualistic interpretations.

Since 1966 and to present days, Pintomeira has on his traject, more than one hundred solo exhibitions in Portugal and abroad. Between 1971 and 2016 he participated in several collective exhibitions, biennials and art fairs, in Portugal and in other EU States. He is represented in various private, institutional and state art collections in several European countries, in the USA, Israel and Canada.



Contours | Contornos | Pintomeira; 1998, De Appelbloesem Pers publishing, Amsterdam, ISBN 9070459167

Faces e Contornos | Pintomeira, 2001, publication of the Municipality of Santo Tirso

Pintura | Pintomeira; 2003, legal deposit n#205550/04, ISBN 972-9071-37-3

Outras Faces | Pintura | Pintomeira; 2010 Pintart, legal deposit 311065/10, ISBN 978-989-20-1997-0

Exteriores | Interiores | Pintomeira; 2011, Pintart, legal deposit 330722/11, ISBN 978-989-20-2614-5

ArtWall, International Contemporary Art Zine, Internet Solutions and Publications, 2011, London, UK

International Comtemporary Artists; 2012, ICA publishing, New York, US, ISBN 9786188000278

Prosper International Art Book; 2012, INSAT publishing, ISBN 9789729756665

Art Unlimited, Masters of today Collective Art book series, World of Art publishing, 2014, London UK, ISBN 10: 91-89685-28-8, ISBN 13: 978-91-89685-28-4

Somewhere | Fotografia | Pintomeira; 2014, Pintart, legal deposit 376075/14, ISBN978-989-20-4820

Cutouts | Pintura |Pintarte; 2016; Depósito Legal 405846/16 ISBN 978-989-20-6470-3

Pintomeira | Pintura . Fotografia. Bilingue . 500 páginas. Edição Câmara Municipal de Viana do Castelo, 2016, depósito legal 413973/16, ISBN 978-972-588-255-9