Gil Heitor Cortesão’s (Lisbon, 1966) oeuvre aims to keep alive Utopian ideals from modernism, expressed through interior design and architecture. Making painting his principle medium, Cortesão’s applies a rare technique of painting oil on the back of a Plexiglas sheet. His paintings seduce with the sleekness of their surface, which conceals the texture of the oil paint, and deceives the viewer by resembling some of the key characteristics of photography.
Although based on old photographic material from books and magazines from the 60’s and 70’s, the final paintings are in fact variations rather than appropriations of their initial source. Scratches, lines of texture, streaks of paint, alterations of scale, distortions and blurring among other, remove the initial subject and introduce instead a new object, which narrates a culture of its own.
The work of Gil Heitor Cortesão is included in the collection of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Fundación Helga de Alvear, Caceres, Spain, Fundación ARCO, Madrid, Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza, La Coruña, Spain, Museé d’Art Moderne Grand–Duc Jean, Mudam, Luxemburg, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, Museu de Arte Contemporânea Armando Martins, Lisbon, Coleção Fundação de Serralves, Oporto, Portugal, Coleção António Cachola, Elvas, Portugal, Coleção Associação Industrial Portuguesa, Lisbon, EDP–Electricidade de Portugal, Lisbon, Coleção Arquipélago, Azores, Portugal, among other.