Works by Hugo Canoilas join the CAM Collection

In the summer of 2022, CAM acquired three sculptures-installations by Hugo Canoilas, enhancing the artist’s presence in the collection.
22 dec 2022

Following the immersive and multisensorial installation Sculptured in Darkness, which Hugo Canoilas presented at the Gulbenkian Foundation between February and May 2022, the CAM has acquired three of the artist’s works renamed: A água da chuva a cair nas bacias oceânicas [Rainwater falling on ocean basins] (a sculpture in resin and organic debris, a piece of wool felt and a glazed ceramic container), Formas de vida simples que regressam ao mar [Simple life forms that return to the sea] (a sculpture made of glass, wool felt and carpet) and O nascimento da lua [The birth of the moon] (a sculpture in glass, wool felt and two carpets).

These works, produced in the studio of Filipe Feijão (sculptures in resin), were specially designed for the exhibition, continuing Canoilas’s research into the depths of the oceans, which he started in 2020 and which would originate glass and felt works. Diluting the boundaries between painting and sculpture, the artist mimics the creative processes of nature, using natural methods of fixation, without moulds, and embracing the inherent unpredictability of the materials used and of the combination of objects and sculptures that belong to different moments and creative processes.

Formally, Hugo Canoilas’s works recall ocean or coastal basins and invertebrate creatures that emerged as the first life on the planet and which the marine biologist Rachel Carson describes in her work The Sea Around Us, one chapter of which, ‘The Gray Beginnings’, had a strong presence on the artist’s imaginary and practice. Carson’s work also inspired the title of the exhibition and the names of the three works acquired for the CAM Collection.

Finally, these sculptures-installations challenge the principles of the ‘traditional’ museum and gallery space: during the exhibition, where the darkness simulated a seabed and freed us from the supremacy of the vision, summoning all our senses, visitors moved around freely, performing an unexpected and unrepeatable choreography, establishing a tactile connection with the creatures that inhabited the space.

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