Art world laments passing of Fernando Lemos

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 18-12-2019 12:22:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s minister of culture, Graça Fonseca, has expressed her "deep sadness" at the passing of Fernando Lemos, a leading photographer, painter and graphic designer, who died on Tuesday at the age of 93 in São Paulo, Brazil, adding her voice to the many reactions from Portuguese artistic circles.

"Portuguese culture owes him his experimentation in words, in images, in publishing, but also in his resistance to dictatorship and in his daring not to submit to forms, in an unwavering artistic and ethical commitment," said the minister, in a statement sent to Lusa.

Fonseca also recalled that Lemos, who was born in Lisbon and studied at the António Arroio School, was initially part of the Portuguese surrealist movement.

"In 1952, before his exile in Brazil, because of his opposition to the Salazar dictatorship [in Portugal], participated in an exhibition that included works of his together with [those of] the artists Marcelino Vespeira and Fernando Azevedo, at the Casa Jalco,” the minister recalled. “In the same year he directed, with José-Augusto França, the Galeria de Março.

“He also participated in the exhibition ‘50 Independent Artists’ of the National Society of Fine Arts and, in 1961, in the Second Exhibition of Fine Arts of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation."

The minister stressed that, despite "a long and diverse artistic path in his approaches" to his work, it "never fitted into a single definition".

He himself, she recalled "said he was the sum of 'activities that have several names': photographer, painter, draughtsman, designer, but also writer, poet, thinker, in a permanent desire to try languages, techniques and expressions."

Fernando Lemos, who was born in Portugal, died a Brazilian national on Tuesday in a hospital unit in the city of São Paulo.

He belongs to the third generation of Portuguese modernists and his work was initially inspired by the Surrealist movement.

He leaves a vast legacy: paintings, drawings, poetry and also many works in the area of graphic and industrial design.


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