In his fourth solo exhibition at SENDA gallery, the Portuguese artist José Pedro Croft (Oporto, 1957) presents a series of large-format wall sculptures, which account for the latest research of the artist in the field of sculpture.
José Pedro Croft is considered one of the most prominent figures of contemporary sculpture in Portugal. He has been one of the leaders, together with other artists of his generation such as Pedro Cabrita ReiIn his fourth solo exhibition at SENDA gallery, the Portuguese artist José Pedro Croft (Oporto, 1957) presents a series of large-format wall sculptures, which account for the latest research of the artist in the field of sculpture.
José Pedro Croft is considered one of the most prominent figures of contemporary sculpture in Portugal. He has been one of the leaders, together with other artists of his generation such as Pedro Cabrita Reis, Manuel Rosa or Ruis Sanches, of Portuguese sculpture's renewal during the 1980s and, since then, has developed a very personal body of work, characterised by a critical and innovative attitude within the contemporary art scene.
One of Croft's main concerns has been to transform sculpture into a constant dialogue between the work and its space of location, thus creating intimate relationships between notions such as interior and exterior, weight and lightness, material density and immateriality. As well, opposing pairs like stability/ instability, transparency/ opacity and concepts like volume or void constitute the tools of his sculptural language, which aims to establish a dynamic relationship between object, exhibition space and spectator.
Croft resumes these enquiries in this new series of sculptures, consisting of large-format wall constructions executed in iron and industrial painting. These works follow the path initiated by Croft in the late 90s, when he started to execute metallic constructions with industrial materials like galvanized iron, glass or mirror. If in a first stage he worked with free-standing sculpture, more recently -and as part of a process of expansion of his work- he has moved towards the bidimensional space of the wall. These new sculptures develop on (and against) the wall. They are structures that focus on the complex articulation of its inner space. Each one of them display a visual disorder, an inner tension which responds to the intertwining of planes, the contrast of full and void areas and the perspective effect suggested by the strong diagonal lines.
These works indicate a new stage in Croft's career, in which he explores new spatial possibilities either on plane or on relief, and where the bounders between sculpture, painting and drawing seem to fade. Thus, the background -the white colour of the wall- interplays with the painted areas of the surface and side planes. Here, the architectural context, the sculptural space and the plane surface of colour reach an intimate interaction.
José Pedro Croft studied at the Escola Superior de Belas Artes in Lisbon. He began to exhibit his work individually in 1983, and has presented his work in several solo and group exhibitions in Portugal and abroad. Among his main solo exhibitions figure the ones displayed at the lFundaçao Serralves in Oporto (1997), Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon (2002) and CGAC in Santiago de Compostela (2003), his first retrospective in Spain. He has represented his country at the Sao Paulo Biennal (1987) and Venice Biennal (1995). His work is part of important collections and museums such as Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), Culture Ministry of Portugal, Fundaçao Serralves (Oporto), MNCARS (Madrid), Sammlung Albertina (Viena), Fundació La Caixa (Barcelona) and Banco Central Europeo (Frankfurt). José Pedro Croft currently lives and works in Lisbon.