Farnese de Andrade (1926 - 1996)

Seis pensamentos (1972)
Six Thoughts

Glass, wood, photographic print and resin
height: 121cm
width: 67.5cm

Donated by Farnese de Andrade 1996


Seis Pensamentos is a wooden cupboard housing the carved bust of a well-dressed pater familias. His wife and five children appear in a photograph, embedded in his chest. Six glass orbs, one for each thought, and one for each member of this father's household, emerge from his head and escape through the top of the cupboard. Within de Andrade's work certain figures and themes reappear and the use of a glass orb to represent thought is a motif of his work of the 1970s; in O Pensamento (The Thought) of 1976 for example a singular orb stands for a single thought. Found and collected by the artist, the objects that comprise Seis Pensamentos were each at some point discarded or lost. De Andrade's works often make reference to places and figures from his past. The fact that his own father left the family home when the artist was 14 lends an autobiographical resonance to the ambiguous paternal figure of Seis Pensamentos.

De Andrade incorporated found objects into his first series of prints in the 1960s. Later he started to create three-dimensional works with materials collected from the beach and landfill sites or acquired in second-hand shops. His work has been described as a medium through which memory may be invoked; the use of rescued church furniture holding objects retrieved from the past gives his work a hushed, sacramental presence. De Andrade paid close attention to display, arranging his collection of his own works with great care. Similarly Seis Pensamentos must be placed with precision, so that the encased figure may greet each viewer at eye level.

Isobel Whitelegg

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