Texts by: Pedro Gadanho, Luísa Santos and Adelaide Ginga
Photography: Luís Silva Campos
A-Z by Miguel Palma
A drawing-installation made up of around three hundred works on paper by Miguel Palma. This exhibition, the second held in MAAT’s Project Room, is presented as a random encyclopaedia of the artist’s drawing works. Including only a quarter of the total number of drawings he has created over three decades, the selection presented here consists of original drawings grouped by affinities at times formal (size, colour, technique), at other times conceptual (series, subjects). The exhibition catalogue records not only the project’s making of, but also the process of setting up the exhibition and images of the finished display. An essay by Luísa Santos and an interview with the artist by Adelaide Ginga, both curators of this exhibition, complement the content gathered in this book.
The machine. The motor, the cables, the construction. Turning the visible into invisible. Approximately 300 works on paper that establish what MAAT designates as drawing-installation and that come together under the banner of Miguel Palma’s anthology, based on his less known work. This way we can get to know the artistic methodology of Miguel Palma a little bit better and the way he reaches sculpture and installation. It is the first exclusive exhibition of his work on paper, whose works comprise approximately one-fourth of the existing total, according to the curator Adelaide Ginga.
The present works, even though they serve mostly as support or an auxiliary of Palma’s sculptural works, have not, however, a sketch-like character, but give shape to an artistic parallel path. With that, we can perceive the artist’s joy when it comes to drawing and working on paper, because that takes him to the finished work, eventually ready to be exhibited. Palma declares “I feel an immense freedom with drawing” and considers that collage (which is repeated often in this anthological) has a very close relationship with sculpture.
Miguel Palma’s practice is mostly known for its large-scale sculptural, installation, in-between art and engineering features. However, most of his work comes with a doppelgänger: a drawing, or a series of drawings, that is/are brought to life either before or after the object(s) that make the work. In this sense, drawings, and the act of drawing, have always been central to Miguel Palma’s practice.