Words and Painting Exchange Roles: Concretism, Experimentalism and Fine Arts in Portugal

Article by Eduardo Paz Barroso establishing correspondences between some Portuguese artists and the universe of visual poetry, thus discussing aspects of the Portuguese poetry of the 1960s. [Pdf]

In > Journal of Artists’ Books, Number 32, Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts, pp. 21-28. Fall 2012. ISSN 1085-1461.

From the Introduction > When considering the relations between Concretism, Experimentalism and fine arts in Portugal, we are referred to the universes of Cubist collage, to the mental associations of Surrealism, to Informalism and action painting. All these aesthetic trends provide the means and contexts for new forms of visual thinking that experimental poetry formulates, questioning and self-questioning in accordance with principles that expose the poetic creation simultaneously as creation and theoretical enunciation. Several points of contact and aesthetic affinities between this trend and some of the most significant moments of the Portuguese plastic production are perfectly identifiable. However, it is still insufficiently explored the critical analysis inherent to a pictorial corpus interrogated from the concerns and attitudes of experimental poetry and concrete poetry.

The place of poetry in modern and contemporary Portuguese literature marks a kind of originality without a name. More than a pure purpose of language and its subject, it is an accelerated experimentation. This is due both to the dizzying capacity of the “saying” as to the imagery of the word that breaks through as a “pluri-significant” event full of oniric possibilities. In this context, the term Literature has not so much its institutional and ideological meaning which refers to a “theory of literature”, but is rather an “archipelago of metaphors” (Lourenço, 1988:205), each metaphor with its own filament, its demarcation of episodes where language breaks all the grammars, according to criteria of solitary poetic authorship, which is always the condition of an “I” that resists the critique reunification with the “person” of the author.

External link > http://www.journalofartistsbooks.org/jab32/issue.html