In spite of not particularly liking Modern Art I must confess Joana de Vasconcelos' exhibition had me mesmerised mainly because beyond the indisputable fact that this well known Portuguese artist does have a creativity level almost second to none, this particular exhibition was highlighted by the grandeur of the whole Palace of Ajuda royal quarters' setting.
I feel I should dedicate a full article to the Palace's rooms, as it will be rather difficult to mingle both artistic displays, each of which represents a different approach to Art and should therefore be looked at separately.
Silvia and I followed the sequencing of the exhibition display having started by the ground floor and more precisely by the Usher's room adorned with tapestries from the Triumph of the Gods series said to have been woven in Brussels between 1728 and 1729. Two eighteenth century Chinese porcelain vases dating back to the Qing Dinasty, an 1866 Giovanni Dupré marble sculpture "Baccante", the painting on the ceiling and the medallions were some of the artistic pieces that naturally caught one's attention together with the rather gigantic "Petit Gâteau" (2011) sculpture made of sand moulds by Joana de Vasconcellos standing right in the middle of the room.
The next room was immersed in total darkness with "The garden of Eden" (2007-2013) lighting the way.
Amidst the 1726-1761 woven tapestries from The History of Achiles series in the Hound's room formerly used as an antechamber for ministers, state councils and other high dignitaries stood two Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro's faience painted dogs with ceramic glaze covered in finely crocheted lace from the Azores - "Bragança" and "Bartolomeu", both of which made in 2012.
Achilles dragging Hector's body towards the Greek Camp (right)
In the stateliness-like atmosphere of the Audience room where once more the outstandingly beautiful eighteenth century tapestry panels inspired on the life of Alexander the Great stood out together with the ceiling paintings one's attention was drawn to the "live" sculpture of Jona de Vasconcelos - "The Airflow" (2001) with its silk ties "fluttering about".
(To be continued)