Exhibition inserted in the ninth edition of Bairro das Artes where we presented a set of “post-modern” furniture designed in 1980 by Architect Fernando Pinto Coelho.
«Galeria Bessa Pereira - Fine Arts & Furniture presents a selection of pieces of furniture, designed by the architect Fernando Pinto Coelho, under the title “Quebrando Barreiras”.
Fernando Pinto Coelho (Coimbra, 1951) is a multifaceted personality who has developed throughout his life a series of collaborations and activities very close to the sphere of art, without losing sight of architecture. Collaborated with the Academic Association of Coimbra and with the Circle of Plastic Arts of Coimbra (CAPC); worked in the Design Office of Architect João Baptista in the 1970/71 biennium, as well as in the SAAL project, with interventions in the public space. In the same decade, he was part of the Puzzle Group which developed, in an activist way, interventions, plastic art exhibitions and performances between 1976 and 1981. These dates are important because, on the one hand, they frame a new political phase of freedom and democracy that Portugal he lived after the Carnation Revolution in 1974, a time when Portuguese society was beginning a definitive change in interest and access to culture and the visual arts. Let us remember the year 1977 with the historic exhibition Alternative 0, at the Galeria de Arte Moderna, in Belém, and at the Quadrum Gallery, also in Lisbon, the performance “Rotura” by Ana Hatherly.
On the other hand, 1981 is the year in which the Puzzle Group dissolves, if we can say so, and it is coincidentally the date on which the pieces now on display were created by Fernando Pinto Coelho. The exhibition's title, “Quebrando Barreiras”, evokes the motto of Postmodernism in its critique of Modern Architecture, that is, to overcome established models and canons, in a radical attitude that opened new fields for the appearance of other formal and pictorial strategies that they envisaged another aesthetic order and another way of using it, more playful, as if each element of everyday life was a piece of a game, or an endless puzzle. This transformation proved to be more eclectic, with a palette of colors and a formal construction that announced a kind of new futurism, which, while not being held hostage by the functionality of the object of use, did not depart from it, but expressed an artistic and transforming act, electrifying, hybrid, idiosyncratic, and thus iconic.
The exhibits were designed specifically for a private home located in São Martinho do Campo, in the north of Portugal; it was the beginning of the 1980s, a time when Portuguese society was approaching Europe, and this exhibition places in the same wake of a challenge to the current rules and barriers of that time and cultural cosmopolitanism, recently arrived at the spirit of freedom and the mess of the established certainties.
At the international level, another equally provocative architect, designer and philosopher must be mentioned here as an important agent of this transmutation movement: Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007), member of the Memphis Group, a design collective based in Milan. , the different areas and currents of contemporary culture began to intersect and integrate other forms of artistic expression, such as the Memphis designation, appropriate to a Bob Dylan song, "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again". This permeability to different contexts is present in the design pieces of this post-modernist period, in which objects took on a sculptural form and were covered by a range of colors that we can associate with painting. In a way, it is as if the spirit of the Pop Art movement has transformed our functional and everyday imagery, opening up another field of possibilities, sometimes strident, but certainly challenging in our relationship with architecture and design.
The pieces designed by Fernando Pinto Coelho emerge from this close relationship between the projectual dimension and the manuality of artistic making, between the logic of the game, what is playful, and the possibility of changing the aesthetic and functional perception of an object and the space it it determines, as an act of freedom and experimentation in which an idea, or a drawing, is embodied in a chair, on a table, or even, for example, on a floor. It is as if we were entering a graphic or pictorial image, in the dimensions that the body requires to exist in space, but with other aesthetic coordinates that sensorially alter our relationship with it. »