Gestures | movements | faces

“The author behind these pages also draws and cannot express in words the extraordinary impression he receives every time he copies someone’s profile. Nature arrives so complex at every face that we are forced to reject the place society has given each and every one of us. Throughout the centuries, a single line incessantly trailed has rendered every silhouette inimitable. This line now traces from the top of the forehead until under the chin, sometimes it resembles another, but it remains intransmissible.”

José de Almada Negreiros, Nome de Guerra [War Name], 1925


In many of the artistic and political reflections Almada expressed in conferences and essays, he defended individual recognition as the basis of collective life and human universality. In his artistic work, the outlining of faces and bodies, in addition to the function of portaiting, also became a means of pictorial experimentation: the representation of gesture and movement often served as a pretext to explore the oscillation, contortion and flexibility of the sinusoidal line; and sometimes to survey the geometrised fragmentation of representation; or to express ideas by way of realist or neoclassical styles.

270 - IMG_7704 "The Ironer", 1938. Signed / Dated. Oil on canvas. 50 x 40 cm. Private collection
266 - IMG_5575 Untitled (Study), undated. Unsigned / Undated. Gouache on paper. 63.5 x 51 cm. Private collection
121 - DEP-AN144 Untitled, undated. Signed / Undated. Graphite on paper. 29.7 x 21.1 cm. Private collection on deposit at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Modern Collection
255 Untitled, undated. Unsigned / Undated. Graphite on paper. 42 x 30.5 cm. Private collection
Almada Negreiros_Duas figuras_Foto Rômulo Fialdini [Two figures] or [double portrait], 1927. Signed / Dated. Graphite on paper 48 x 51.5 cm. Acervo Artístico-Cultural dos Palácios do Governo do Estado de São Paulo. Photo: Rômulo Fialdini
Updated on 04 october 2017

Cookies settings

Cookies Selection

This website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, security, and its website performance. We may also use cookies to share information on social media and to display messages and advertisements personalised to your interests, both on our website and in others.