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The Golden Ratio Laws exhibition explores architectural representations among the works of the Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection of Art Brut and Outsider Art. For Antonia Gaeta, its curator, the notions of number, proportion and perfection became the starting point of research – where comes the title – the Golden Ratio, its almost mythical symbol.

Art Brut and Outsider Art differ grandly from Contemporary Art, which makes the exhibition particularly exciting to visit. As a term, Art Brut appeared in 1945 and was coined by the French painter Jean Dubuffet, who got interested in artistic production that did not meet aesthetic and formal norms of the day. Dubuffet was fascinated by works of asylum patients, who, isolated from the society and cultural influence it imposed, would produce deeply personal and highly inventive drawings, sculptures, paintings and tapestries from basic materials they could find. Most often, these people would not recognize themselves as artists, what accounts for many anonymous authors. Other than mentally ill, marginals, introverts and mediums were selected as Art Brut authors by Dubuffet. Their art stands for memories of their past, often intermixed with fantasy, for their stories, ideals, feelings, and their imaginary worlds, which is why so often it is accompanied with inscriptions and stories. Outsider Art is a newer term, and it describes artistic production that is deliberately unorthodox, unfashionable, sometimes based of Folk Tradition and that always surprises the viewer.

The Golden Ratio Laws assembles various nuclei of representations of a city, a home, a world. They vary from meticulous constructions of interconnected streets and houses, to areal views on skyscrapers, to naive and colorful depictions of home. Each piece is accompanied by a short biography of its author, which provides an important insight to the plot. This humane exhibition offers an immediate connection with the public, as each is able to empathize and to recognize a little bit of his own fears, hopes and obsessions in these artworks.

The Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection of Art Brut and Outsider Art is a private collection that is represented by Núcleo de Arte da Oliva Creative Factory in São João da Madeira. Two other exhibitions that are equally on view at Núcleo de Arte are Arte Bruta: Uma história de mitologias individuais and Os animais que ao longe parecem moscas. 

Nota: esta colaboradora opta por escrever em inglês


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