“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.