Carlos Martins (1946 - )

Canto 4 (Perspectiva)
Canto 4 (Perspective)

Etching on paper
height: 26.5cm
width: 25.5cm

Donated by Carlos Martins 1998


Canto 4 is one of a series of ten individual engravings, entitled 10 Cantos. Although completed in 1981, the process of its making spanned six years of subtle adjustments to each original engraving plate. The period of time spent working on this series encompasses the trajectory of Carlos Martins' return to Brazil (in 1978) after an extended period of time studying in the UK. Martins has described this series as his most significant. Not only did the works attract considerable critical support but they also have personal importance, telling the story of his return and re-adaptation, of the replanting of roots. Martins' study of the history of engraving while in London encouraged him to explore the history of Brazilian printmaking, and he has described this series as homage to the history of engraving: the recuperation of aspects of its origins, including reduced size, a limited palette of colours, and a fascination with geometry and perspective. Carlos Martins' respect for tradition reflects his view that history is not something in the past but that 'it is present in our memory, in our age'. His particular evocation of history is another aspect of his work that has won him critical interest. Wilson Coutinho has described his images as 'wrapped in double time allying the original history of printmaking with the temperament of modernity'.

Isobel Whitelegg, 2008

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