Vítor Pomar

Untitled, 1980

Vítor Pomar has been a prominent figure in the Portuguese art context since the 1970s. His conceptual approach bears the influence of Buddhism, specifically Buddhist meditation and the spiritual at large. Although rooted in the medium of painting, the work of Vítor Pomar brings together a multitude of artistic approaches, crossing painting with the experience of drawing, photography, and film. His work emerges from reuniting seemingly dispersed knowledge inscribe in daily life, which through a diary-like method, based on fragmentation, observation, and creation of images, captures the artist’s interest in the conceptualization of ideas connected with the subject of absolute existence. By the immediacy of his paintings’ pictorial gesture, Pomar questions our relation, understanding, and experience of time, place, and being.

Untitled, 1980, is part of a new group of works initiated in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which notes a significant shift in the artist’s practice and determines Pomar’s later development. Abandoning painting on the vertical, Pomar, instead, places his canvases unmounted on the floor. The painterly gesture becomes freer (but also more violent) in that the painting becomes a field unrestricted to a problem of composition. The painting is a play of variations – an attempt for a formal search of a code of registers and scale. Scale for Pomar is not a problem of dimension, but rather a complex set of relations, between the management of the painting’s internal space, the absolute dimension of the support and the relation of the two to the spectator’s corporality. Pomar thus gradually moves away from the abstract towards the ritualistic.

The work of Vítor Pomar (1949) has been exhibited at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Chiado 8 Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Oporto, Portugal, Culturgest, Lisbon or the Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon among other. His work is represented in private and public collections including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; Serralves Museum, Oporto; Ministry of Culture, Lisbon; EDP Electricity Museum, Lisbon; Luso-American Foundation for Development, Lisbon; Caixa Geral de Depósitos Collection, Lisbon; Ar.Co, Lisbon; Ministry of Finance, Lisbon; among others.