Tàpies – 5ª. Bienal de Gravura – Museu do Douro

Antoni Tàpies – Vª Bienal Internacional de Gravura do Douro, 2010

Antoni Tàpies – Vª Bienal Internacional de Gravura do Douro, 2010
20 de Agosto a 31 de Outubro 2010
Museu do Douro

Invited by the Núcleo de Gravura de Alijó to curate this exhibition for the V International Printmaking Biennial of Douro, which the homage lies in the work of the great master Antoni Tàpies, it was therefore with deep pride and an ever renewed pleasure that we could this way contribute to once again tear physical borders and unify Iberian wills, this time in a region “built” by three centuries of passion as it is the Douro region…

Therefore, moved by the strong motivation of receiving again in our country an exhibition by this mythical Catalan painter, one of the most important artists of the twentieth century and a distinguished and mandatory figure of the informalism of European painting, which work is covered with an enormous historical importance, and is still today, at 86 years old, gifted with a prodigious actuality and acuteness, fact that doesn’t cease to impress us and cause perplexity.

It fulfils here, today, in Douro, land of sweat and hope, Miguel Torga’s pretension of a common cultural legacy for the homeland of Camões and Lorca…

…To be in this arid and hostile floor a new creator of life, to give a response to everyday’s death, to transform each ravine in parapet of hope and each grape of sweat in drop of sweetness – that is what the Titan taught to men, and that Zeus never forgave him for. Therefore its profile of the mountains, of its heart bitten runs the blood of perpetual agony, and of the mouth of his grateful creatures raises an indignant protest. But heaven is deaf. And as long as the destination eagle continues to devour the giant, with straw hoods and scissors in their hand, rolled up in the mills, or with baskets on their back, the disciples of the great revolted continues his revenge, following his lesson. Pitiful, the narrow territory of anguish, girded to his irrigation artery, crosses through the country from side to side. And it is, on our map of smallness, the only immeasurable evidence with which we can amaze the world.

We quote the great Miguel Torga  – because I am who I amin Canção do Rio Mais Alto, doctor made poet and mandatory character of the Douro region, for whom the iberism was a dream, though platonic, of peninsular harmony between nations, all sisters, all independent, yet united in one only spirit, and we thus do the parallel with the major Catalan master Antoni Tàpies, as equally men of the origins, equally humanist and rebellious, resistant defender of roots and freedoms, painter of density and absolute, in search for truth and (as Torga) new ways for the kingdom of the beautiful and possible things.

I’m in a constant search for truth, I know that it is very difficult to reach a final certainty, perhaps it is even impossible, but finding my truth I believe I do something useful for the whole society. Truth is fundamental.

And we believe, as Tàpies believes, in art as privileged territory for freedom and quest for knowledge for ourselves, the other, the world…

Joana Ferreira Gomes
Galeria Fernando Santos
Porto, Julho 2010