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Conversa Inventada by André Sousa

Conversa Inventada is a solo exhibition by André Sousa, where he presents two works in dialogue and confrontation with the new space of the Galeria Nuno Centeno (inaugurated at the end of 2018), located in the former Cooperativa dos Pedreiros (founded in 1914), in the centre of Porto.

In Conversa Inventada, André Sousa shows two large paintings on fabric, hanging from the brutalist gallery columns to the cement floor, with their backsides facing each other, in an effect similar to the installation Parábola (2014) at the Serralves Museum (Porto), as part of the exhibition 12 Contemporâneos: Estados Presentes (2014). The complexity is the consequence of a continuous and free exploration of painting, in addition to the awareness of its history, as well as the human being’s primitive codes of expression. The first work we found has grey tones and countless layers, styles and thicknesses. We see different geometric shapes, symbols, letters and elements of nature, figurative and abstract painting, as if it were a mural painted “in times long gone”, carrying a timeless sensitivity. In the second work, we are attracted by its depth of field, accompanying the structural lines of the exhibition space, due to the immensity of colors and shapes. There is a strong centrality, geometry and distribution of the painting with a classical influence, opposed to the abstraction and repetition of figurative codes, such as letters, faces, feet, animal feathers and even teeth. The visitor needs to look at these details more carefully. It is like an obelisk that tells a story, painted on hand-sewn fabric.

André Sousa (1980, Porto) lives and works in Porto and Frankfurt. He completed his degree in painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto (1998/2003). Since 1999, he shows his work in collective and individual exhibitions, nationally and internationally. His artistic practice, marked by the interplay between notions of value and the various possibilities in the context of art and economy, has double-sided paintings, with contrasting aesthetics, confrontation of materials and techniques, reproductions of vernacular architecture and other objects. In them, as in his videos, we find landscapes, literary references, individual experiences or codified elements and appropriations. His installations begin at a rigorous point and encompass the diversity of a daily practice. Examples of this are the exhibitions Saudade (2018, Fosun Foundation, Shangai, China), Sad Movie (2018, Kunsthalle Freeport, Bangkok, Thailand), Parte-se a guita, perde-se a bala (2017, Galeria Múrias Centeno, Oporto, Portugal), Uma Coleção = Um Museu (2007-2017) Obras da Coleção António Cachola (2017, MACE, Elvas, Portugal), Matter Fictions (2016, Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon, Portugal), 12 Contemporâneos: Estados Presentes (2014, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal), ), Prémio EDP – Novos Artistas 2007 (2007, CACE Cultural, Porto, Portugal), among others. He did several artist residencies, including at Casa do Povo (São Paulo, Brazil) in 2016, with João Sousa Cardoso, at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, Germany) in 2009, and at the Spike Island (Bristol, UK) in 2007. Together with Mafalda Santos and Miguel Carneiro, he managed the independent venue PêssegoPráSemana (2000-07), and was responsible for the Mad Woman in the Attic (2005-09) project, both in Porto. Since 2008, he coordinates, with artist Mauro Cerqueira, the project and artistic space Uma Certa Falta de Coerência, in his hometown.

The exhibition Conversa Inventada by André Sousa is on show at the Galeria Centeno, in Porto, together with Os Outros Homens de Luísa Mota, until July 12, 2020.

Annie Martins (Porto, 1990) co-founder of the curatorial collective Hera, is a master's student in Art Studies - Museological and Curatorial Studies at FBAUP. She was also a researcher at the CHIC Project, supporting the integration of artist films in the Portuguese National Cinema Plan and in the Online Catalog of Films and Videos of Portuguese Artists. Graduated in Cinema by ESTC-IPL (2007-2010) and in Heritage Management by ESE-IPP (2013-2017) collaborates as Art Director in fictions and television programs, and recently started writing for Umbigo Magazine.

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