Zulmiro de Carvalho (Gondomar, 1940) studied Sculpture at the Escola Superior de Belas-Artes do Porto, where he also taught from 1969 to 1995. Between 1971 and 1973, he received a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in London to attend a postgraduate course at St. Martin’s School of Art, where he met Anthony Caro and William Tucker. He was later president and founding member of Lugar do Desenho – The Júlio Resende Foundation, between 2009 and 2011. As well as his many public works in the Porto area, he is known internationally for his monumental sculptures in South Korea and Macao.
Untitled, from 1968, is a piece made during a key phase in Zulmiro de Carvalho’s work. This aluminium sculpture, formed of four elements, was exhibited in 2018 at Galeria Quadrado Azul, in Porto.
The serenity, cleanness and purity of this piece are characteristic features of the artist’s sculptural work, as are the simplicity and stripped-back form of a material well suited to the minimalist art that is an integral part of Zulmiro’s artistic world. The idea of a series is represented in this work by four vertical elements in grey, with notes of red on the curving motifs of varying size at the top of each column. Colour, usually scarce in Zulmiro’s sculptures, makes an appearance in this work, as it does in a few other pieces, mostly from the 1960s and 70s.
This work belongs to the early days of the artist’s sculpting, clearly influenced by minimalist Anglo-Saxon art and with a relationship to British works in the CAM Collection from the 1960s, as well as those by Portuguese artists like Ângelo de Sousa and Armando Alves, not to mention Fernando Calhau and Fernanda Fragateiro.