• 1973
  • Fabric, Cotton, Net, Mirror, Wood and Plastic
  • Assemblage
  • Inv. 83E565

Ana Vieira


Toucador [Dressing Table] is part of a series of ten works from 1973 that were shown for the first time at the Galeria Judite DaCruz, in Lisbon, in February/March of 1974, in a solo show by the artist. Ten acrylic boxes containing projected shadows of figures and objects with translucent netting, as well as two tables with a towel, crockery and toys create an unfolding of variations on the still life: pots of flowers, branches, birdcages and fish tanks, sometimes painted on canvas, sometimes set within the composition. They are everyday objects thus presented as if part of a miniature, immobile and untouchable microcosm.


As with the pieces Figura [Figure] and Figura com chapéu [Figure with hat] from the group shown at Judite DaCruz, there is a human presence in Toucador, in the form of a graceful and composed silhouette of a woman’s head and shoulders which contrasts with the material objects imprisoned in the boxes. The name of the work refers to a piece of furniture used by women, now fallen into disuse, and to the idea of intimacy, self-contemplation (and grooming) of one’s appearance, in keeping with a submissive and passive attitude indicated by the figure’s lack of arms or gestures, as well as the static and balanced nature of the composition. On a narrow shelf, a white glove, an old-fashioned cachepot with a pearl necklace and, to the right, a pink scarf, complete the grammar of a past or outdated mode of seduction associated with the traditional image of Femininity, far removed from the libertarian models advanced by gender discourse during the 20th century, and the 1960s in particular. In the background, an oval frame suggests a mirror which reflects only the ghostly, immaterial form of this figure trapped definitively in the past, a temporal distance also suggested by the dominant bluish grey tones of the painted net and frame.



Ana Filipa Candeias

May 2013


Updated on 23 january 2015

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