pedro calapez

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Pedro Calapez was born 1953 in Lisbon where he lives and works. He began his studies in civil engineering but changed later to the Escola de Belas Artes (School of Fine Arts). While attending Belas Artes he worked as a professional photographer until 1985, when he was able to dedicate himself exclusively to painting.

 Pedro Calapez is internationally exhibiting since the 80ies and has presented his work in many important museums and galleries. He has participated 1986 at the Venice Biennale and 1987 and 1991 at the São Paulo Biennale. In the german speaking part of Europe, his work was shown 1999 at the Kunstmuseum Bonn in the exhibition “Tage der Dunkelheit und des Lichts”.

Expansion rather than concentration, is an obvious driving power in the artistic language of Pedro Celapez, who is working in the field between drawing and painting, figurative expression and abstraction. He often divides his multiple-part image compositions puzzle-like on strictly geometric surfaces and within those are ruling the most expressive gestures and mediterranean colors. Pedro Calapez is creating on individual aluminium boards images of large painted ribbons and surfaces, placing strong primary colors near muddy shades that are defining, layer after layer, the painted space. But not only each board might appear in a severe struggle, but as well the different parts of the whole composition can be of distinct depth. The several painted boards invade more or less deeply the exhibition space and are forming a relief-like macro mosaic and as in a magnetic field, the individual components are attracting or rejecting each other.

Sometimes few painted boards are creating tension and form, but other works are compositions of twenty or more image bodies with different sizes and suddenly a mediterranean color spectrum opens the view to the southern brightness.


“My major concern is always the discussion of the edges of painting. I want the picture to extend beyond those. In a determined space my paintings together form a single piece that I cannot imagine being broken up in different walls. Each painting goes beyond itself, each wall is a painting by itself; this does not allow the gaze to be fixed, it is all around. The fact is that your look dominates the reason why you keep looking at a painting; the eye takes over control of the way in which we look at a picture. Reason invokes a discourse made up of these fragments of vision. You penetrate/enter the painting by the invoking of its own details. It is not the general idea of a painting that is important, but the small stroke or line. What is important is the particular, the detail." Pedro Calapez