Gravura (1970) by Maria Beatriz is an engraving that belongs to the Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) Collection. It is currently highlighted as part of Pré-pós visual declinações on 25 April, an exhibition curated by Miguel von Hafe Pérez, taking place at the Serralves Museum, Porto, on occasion of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the 25th of April. The show in open from April 23rd to October 27th, 2024.

Maria Beatriz’s work is distinguished by “the poetic sense of plastic language, social and human concerns, and ways of doing things, cutting and collage, composing and recomposing elements.” (Vítor Belanciano). The artist creates ironic and biting narratives that reveal a childish and surrealist imagination through the relationship between the characters. “They are fragments, disjointed pieces of history, collages of sorts, which the author skillfully brings together, creating a diffuse narrative, a form of violent reproof and social and political criticism.” (Inês Gomes). These compositions weave considerations about social aspects and her personal experiences: “Cruelty sits at the family table.” (Júlio Pomar). The work Engraving places two warped and caricatured figures having a strange dialogue side-by-side with the inscription “ADULTS / 18 YEARS OLD”. This caption refocuses the image into something erotic and disruptive, leaving behind the innocent and playful image that could have been perceived first. Her work “shows a strong ability to relate a dreamlike dimension to everyday images” (Celso Martins); “always combining the need for a critical comment on the world with an auto-biographical statement, an angry look and personal liberation.” (Alexandre Pomar)

Born in Lisbon, in 1940, Maria Beatriz studied painting at Escola Superior de Belas-Artes, Lisbon, but it was at the Cooperativa de Gravura (SCGP) that she found her artistic path. She joined Atelier 17, Paris, in 1966, as a scholarship student from Fundação Gulbenkian, to further her engraving technique. In 1970 she moved to the Netherlands, where she completed her Painting and Graphic Arts course at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam in 1973, funded by grants from the Dutch government. She passed away in 2020, at the age of 80, in Amsterdam, having had a relatively discreet career in Portugal, but leaving an invaluable legacy of engraving, drawing and painting for prosperity: “The strength of my work lies in being able to say everything, in believing I can take the risk.” (Maria Beatriz)         

Hugo Dinis

Maria Beatriz
Etching and aquatint in 2 colors
Paper (38 x 56.5 cm) / Printed surface (22.5 x 29 cm)
Ed. 1/150 + XX PA (2nd series)
Inv. 626128
Search Collection
Share Facebook / Twitter