Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso (14 November 1887 — 25 October 1918) is a painter renown for being one of the leading figures of Portuguese modernism. While settled in Paris in the avant-guerre period, Amadeo witnessed the flourishing of artistic avant-garde movements, such as fauvism, cubism, futurism and expressionism, and had the opportunity to show some of his works in important exhibitions, namely the Salon d’Automne and Salon des Indépendants in Paris, the 1913 Armory Show, in New York, Chicago and Boston, in the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon in Berlin, and in the Salon of the Allied Artists Association in London.
His style, which critically appropriate cubism, futurism or Rimbaud’s poetry, is considered to be eclectic, aggressive and vivid both in form and colour. Despite an apparent random or chaotic compositional structure, his works eventually reveal balance and meticulous thought.
After his death, Amadeo’s work remained quite undiscovered until only the late 1980’s when the donation of his collection to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, by his widow, made his work become much more noticeable.
To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Amadeu de Souza-Cardoso’s one-man show in Porto and Lisbon, the MNSR [Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis, Porto] and the MNAC [Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado, Lisbon] made an effort to host in 2016 two exhibitions curated by Marta Soares and Raquel Henriques da Silva evoking the exhibit curated by the painter himself in 1916. Found amongst private collectors and institutions, the paintings, drawings and memorabilia were gathered and displayed in two very successful exhibitions. Unlike the controversial, violent and debated reception the painter experienced a century ago, these 2016 exhibitions were more consensual and intensively followed by the media.
For the show in Porto, in the MNSR, an extensive catalogue was designed and published on the opening night. The 312-page book is divided into 3 main sections:
• Section 1 is made of 5 chapters that approach the contexts of the artist, his work and the two exhibitions;
• Section 2 showcases his paintings and drawings that were displayed in the 1916 and 2016 exhibitions;
• Section 3 compiles a large set of press references, articles, and correspondences between the artist with his friends and family regarding his solo exhibitions in Portugal.