Açoriano Oriental
Urbano marks 40 years of exhibitions with "De Natura Maris"

"De Natura Maris" brings together new perspectives on themes already presented by Urbano, reflecting the freedom given by Arquipélago - Centro de Artes Contemporâneas

Autor: Ana Carvalho Melo

"De Natura Maris" is the name of Urbano's exhibition at Arquipélago - Centro de Artes Contemporâneas.

An exhibition that brings new perspectives to themes already presented by the artist, combined with a new artistic reflection associated to the space of Archipelago and after which the exhibition named.

Thus, throughout three areas of the Contemporary Arts Center, you can admire works from 1996 to the present day. This makes it possible to revisit or get to know the work of the artist, who is now celebrating the 40th anniversary of his first solo exhibition.  "A retrospective is not a repetition, and all the pieces here came from my studio or family home," the artist told Açoriano Oriental during a visit to the exhibition.

As Urbano recalls, for each series of works he has presented throughout his career, there have been many other works that have never been exhibited.

"What has been presented is the tip of the iceberg, because inside the water there are many works that should also be seen," states the artist, referring to the many works he has never presented publicly, which is why he is allowed to exhibit works for the first time in each show he holds.

The exhibition is a dialog between artist and curator, João Mourão, who Urbano describes as "great", due to the empathy that was established between the two throughout the process of conceiving and setting it up.

Thus, upon arriving at the Centro de Artes Contemporâneas, visitors are invited to go to room 1, which features a set of works created between 1996 and 2019 that explores Origins.

"In this room we have a set of works about Origins from different perspectives, which reflect on where we came from and what we are doing here. These works are based on readings about astrophysics, among others," he explained.

In room 2, 18 new pieces are presented, which inspired the name of the exhibition "De Natura Maris", which means "The Nature of the Sea".

"The works in this room question whether we are capable of recognizing the extraordinary gift that is life, whether we are capable of deserving it, and making the best use of the planet we have been given in order to leave it for those who come after us," he says of the striking set of works, which stand out to the visitor's eye both for their size and their color. "I realized over time that the works about origins and those based on readings and reflections were monochrome, while those about my experiences have a more colorful palette," he confesses.

Moving on to the cells, visitors are invited to explore other pieces of art that present different experiences. "In the 12 cells, the works presented broaden the other themes, which allows those who don't know me to understand that my work is not just about Origins," he says of this body of work, which also includes engravings, books and threedimensional paintings. The visit to the cells culminates with a ceramic piece made for this exhibition in which the artist explores ceramics as another medium for painting.

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