There are dozens of pages that immortalize not only the exhibition that covers the seven decades of Manuel Baptista's artistic creation, but also his life and work: this is the Catalog that was this Saturday, September 23rd, launched at the Municipal Museum of Faro.
It is in this Museum that the works of the Farense artist that were produced between 1 and 1962 and make up “Paralela Nature” are on display until October 2022st.
«Knowing Manuel Baptista’s work in depth allowed me to put on this exhibition. With him, things were very fast and very slow, because he had his own rhythm: he worked a lot, but, at the same time, he also had a way of being that allowed us to spend entire afternoons or nights talking, eating and drinking. He was a person who passed from art to life and from life to art ». This is how João Pinharanda, director of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) and also curator of this exhibition, describes Manuel Baptista.
Despite having died before being able to see the exhibition, in April 2023, Manuel Baptista still watched his entire preparation.
«What I no longer discussed with him was the assembly and arrangement of the final works, but I think he would like to see how it turned out», the curator told Sul Informação.
Now, with the exhibition about to end and the catalog launched, João Pinharanda talks about his desire to open a museum, in Faro, with all the work and collections of Manuel Baptista, who, even after leaving his teaching career at the School of Fine Arts, «continued to be very interested in the work of younger artists».
«This is a decision that will only not be taken if there is little willingness for culture. The didactic role that Manuel Baptista always had can continue with this Museum», highlighted the curator, stating that he was «very happy with the catalogue».
«It was always an object that was thought of, from the beginning, and it immortalizes the exhibition even in the sense that we can see where the pieces are – and I congratulate the photographers».
To Rogério Bacalhau, president of the Chamber of Faro, this is also an important milestone.
«This catalog will perpetuate, for future memory, what the exhibition was, and that has been our objective – to produce a catalog for the exhibitions we have had here at the Museum. We are aware that one thing is the pieces themselves and another is all the work behind them. The catalogs aim to not let the exhibition disappear after it ends», he said during the presentation.
Photographs and texts make up this book, which is on sale for 15 euros and also features the participation of writer Lídia Jorge, who joined the work with the authorization to publish a text with her vision of Manuel Baptista.
As João Pinharanda had already mentioned, the exhibition (and now the catalogue), are «a heartfelt tribute to a great artist and friend, an illustrious representative of a vast plethora of names that confirmed the national and international vocation of the Algarve in the field of arts and of letters».
Manuel Baptist died on April 8, 2023, aged 86.