“A porta do mar”
by Guilherme Parente
Temporary exhibition | Date: 25 July to 24 October 2020
There is an immense sea of vibrant colour in Guilherme Parente’s paintings. Blue prevails, more intense in a stormy sky or more translucent in the peaceful waters of an island. Colour fills the void, gives it content and meaning, contributes to a narrative that on Guilherme Parente’s large format canvases is invariably lyrical, jovial, hopeful and optimistic. Almost against the tide of the times we live in, of a darker and more fearful existence, in these canvases we find the idealistic poetry of a better world.
It is quite fitting that this exhibition takes place now, at this time, and in Mértola. It is a privilege to be able to bathe in its colour and light. This inner, remote, hybrid and ambiguous place, laid out on an imposing terrace over a river. Every river has a sea and the sea, here, is still reaching out. With the coming and going of the tides, the town has accompanied the coming and going of people from here and many other places throughout the ages. People who, nowadays make this place a mestizo place, mixed by the cultural influence of the various civilisations that settled here and left their mark and their colour. The river is a gateway. In the significance of the colours of a place that is constantly coming and going, there remains the longing for the journey and the exultation of the arrival.
In this canvas town, the white of the houses is splashed with timid dots of colour, the yellow and blue of the stripes, the pink of the flowering bougainvilleas, the splendid green of the orange trees or the disordered mess of colours of the flowerpots on doorsteps. We are far from Guilherme Parente’s deflagration of colour, but we share in the slightly untidy state of things, in a harmonious disarray flooded with light. The light that doesn’t let us lose heart, that brightens our days and urges us to dream of the sea, of departing and returning.
(text by Rosinda Pimenta)