Exhibition view "Mesclado" curated by Jorge André Catarino, 2020 – programme VENTO SUL.


Felipe Arturo

Luís Lázaro Matos

Curated by Jorge André Catarino

This is an online presentation of artworks by Felipe Arturo and Luís Lázaro Matos, coincides with the artists collective exhibition MESCLADO curated by Jorge André Catarino, part of the programme VENTO SUL and on view at the Espaço Espelho d'Água, in Portugal.

I thought to curate a different art exhibition, a show that was about the artist as a storyteller. As the artworks of Felipe Arturo and Luís Lázaro Matosoften refer to architectural forms, and especially those linked to modernistic principles and values, they do frequently evoke archetypal images and motifs (without being translated into anachronisms). Therefore, Mesclado (mixed), due to the fact that official historiography gets tinted by other elements, exterior, vernacular, creating fictions, parallel or alternative narrative lines – for the viewer to explore.

This was the starting point.

The Nomadic City of Camela
The Nomadic City of Camela
Luís Lázaro Matos, The Nomadic City of Camela (2017), © video artist / courtesy.
However, throughout the installation process, I increasingly started to become more aware of the nomadic quality of the whole exhibition. Not only in the existent theme of migration of architectural forms, omnipresent (and that embroils issues of geopolitical, socio-economic, cultural, ethnic and gender, etc.), but above all, in the way each nucleus or piece subsists in an essentially ambulatory nature. Drawings that climb trees, figures that carry houses on their backs, a painting that jumps from the that and a wall that jumps out of the wall; in this exhibition everything moves. Even the concrete chairs, facing south, seem to sprout organically from the module defined by Sol Lewitt.

Thus Mesclado became an exhibition about the idea of displacement, journey, as an in-between the static and the dynamic, the fixed and the movable, the finished and the unfinished. Just like this text.

Text by Jorge André Catarino

[ Translated by Inês Valle / reviewd by Adedamola Olowade ]

Exhibition view "Mesclado" curated by Jorge André Catarino, 2020.
FELIPE ARTURO - Cine Palmera
Cine Palmera
Felipe Arturo, Cine Palmera [ 2017-2019], © video artist / courtesy.
Felipe Arturo

Unfinished concrete chair #12, 2015

Reinforced concrete

96 × 80 × 70 cm

unique artwork,

The installation Variations of unfinished concrete chairsis an ongoing series comprised of reinforced concrete chairs, built from a direct molding technique. In reference to Sol Lewitts’ Incomplete Open Cubes (1974), each chair stems from a matrix of a cube. Currently composed of a set of 12 chairs, its modular nature allows for a virtually infinite expansion of the series, always unique variations – and always unfinished – of the same matrix.

Felipe Arturo explores the referenciality of forms and materials, namely those related to the Modernist canon: the way that each shape or material entails a particular narrative, often connected to power dynamics, of cultural imposition or assimilation (and that necessarily entails political, socioeconomical, and cultural related representation issues). In the case of Variations of unfinished concrete chairs the subject lies in the migration and export of Modernist principles, often applied to or confronted with traditional, vernacular or ephemeral construction techniques, concepts that are foreign to modernism.

Sol Lewitt’s decomposed cubes, paradigm of the foundational serial and modular nature of Modernism, and of the reasons of its success, are in Arturo’s work repurposed as signature architect’s chairs, all the while taking the form of a ruin: the inevitable end that awaits every architectural shape.


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