Manuel Amorim Exhibit, Zane Bennett Contemporary Art Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Beginning on March 6, 2009, Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, at 435 South Guadalupe Street in Santa Fe, New Mexico will present “Close-Up”, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper, including watercolors and woodcut prints, by Portuguese artist Manuel Amorim.
Manuel Amorim, was born in 1950 in Lisbon, Portugal. His parents divorced when he was four years old, and he was told that his mother was dead. Amorim moved in with his grandparents and didn’t see his father again for seven years. From these early childhood experiences came feelings of loss, alienation and loneliness. During his youth, Amorim dealt with his emotions by creating a rich imaginary world. He turned to art because, as he says, “it is a technique for survival. My work is about the alleviation of a tension, turned into emotional energy.”
Amorim’s existential paintings contain symbols that might come straight from dreams. The central figure is an archetypal everyman, which Amorim depicts as a shadowy silhouette. The character is presented as moving solo through the universe. “My paintings are like a fragment of present or past time,” Amorim notes. “They are a diary of meditations. I try to reveal man as an element of the cosmic totality, as a material constellation, directly participating in the cosmic fate.”
Amorim, who at 20 left Portugal for France and has lived there since, has a style reminiscent of cave paintings. He uses a shallow depth-of-field, primitive forms, and rough textures. In Amorim’s new work, which will be featured in “Close-Up”, he uses bolder, more vivid color than before. The central figures are shown more closely, focusing in on the head of the figure.
Manuel Amorim has exhibited extensively in Europe. This is his second solo exhibition at Zane Bennett.