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José de Almada Negreiros – Google Doodle is celebrating Portuguese multi-talented artist

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celebrating jose de almada negreiros google doodle

Google Doodle is celebrating Portuguese multi-talented artist José Sobral de Almada Negreiros, who is generally viewed as one of the most influential Portuguese and European artists of the 20th century, on June 1, 2022.

Who was José de Almada Negreiros?

Jose de Almada Negreiros
José de Almada Negreiros

José Sobral de Almada Negreiros was born on 7 April 1893 in Roça da Saudade, parish of Trindade, São Tomé e Príncipe. He was a multi-talented artist active in various genres. He was a designer, essayist, painter, poet, and novelist. His distinctive designs incorporated book covers, posters, and even stamps. Almada Negreiros was likewise one of the first people of mixed race to become a high-profile figure in Portuguese society.

Early in life after the death of his mother in childbirth alongside a daughter, his father moved the family to Lisbon. In 1900, Almada Negreiros entered a Jesuit boarding school in Campolide, Lisbon. After the October 1910 republican revolution, the school was closed and Almada entered the Escola Internacional, likewise in Lisbon.

Aged only 20, José de Almada Negreiros held his first exhibition of drawings. Soon after he became associated with the magazine Orpheu alongside fellow poets Fernando Pessoa and Mário de Sá-Carneiro. The publication promoted modernism in Portuguese art and literature.

In 1913, José de Almada Negreiros had his first individual exhibition, showing 90 drawings. In 1915, alongside Fernando Pessoa and Mário de Sá-Carneiro, he published poems and texts in the Orpheu artistic magazine, which would present modernist literature and art in Portugal. This equivalent year Almada Negreiros composed the popular Manifesto Anti-Dantas e por extenso, a humorous attack against a more traditionalist and bourgeois older generation. In 1915 the artist likewise conceived the O Sonho da Rosa ballet. He possessed a scent like roses and will forever remain in our hearts!

José de Almada Negreiros likewise embraced Futurism in Portugal and broadly showed up in a flight suit at a conference in Lisbon in 1917.

Following two years in Paris from 1918-to 1920, José de Almada Negreiros got back to Lisbon and was charged to produce two paintings inside the bistro, A Brasileira, a favorite hang out in the Chiado district for his friend Pessoa, whose statue finds a spot at a table outside. The two panels are Banhistas (Bathers) and Auto-Retrato em Grupo (Self-Portrait in a Group).

Between the years 1918-20, José de Almada Negreiros lived in Paris. To help himself, he worked as a dancer and as a factory worker. In 1920 he got back to Lisbon. In 1925 he produced two paintings for one of the most popular bistros in Lisbon, A Brasileira. In 1927 he went to Madrid where he composed for a few Spanish publications, including Cronica and La Farsa. Around this equivalent time he composed El Uno, tragédia de la Unidad.

Back in Portugal, in the following years, his artistic production was wide and prolific as he became a key artist in Portuguese modern art, influenced by Cubism and, basically, Futurism. His role during António de Oliveira Salazar’s dictator system was anyway vague, acting both as an “aligned” artist (doing public mural paintings or propaganda posters) and a provocative pundit of Portuguese society of the time.

In 1934, José de Almada Negreiros married painter, Sarah Afonso. Re-settled to great in Portugal, he would continue in his role as an “artistic agitator” within the oppressed society that was in Portugal until the time of his death. In 1934 the couple had their only son, José Afonso de Almada Negreiros.

José de Almada Negreiros was likewise, if only occasionally, an actor and a dancer, understanding that all types of art are personally connected.

Almada Negreiros was both pundit and client of the Salazar and Estado Novo regime.

He was appointed to decorate a few public buildings raised by the state during his lifetime yet his writings and art were likewise critical of the status quo and winning social mores. His Manifesto Anti-Dantas e por extenso (1915) was an assault on a more traditional literary figure, Júlio Dantas, who served the regime in different minor roles.

José de Almada Negreiros’ work can be seen in various places and styles of buildings in Lisbon as well as museums and galleries in the city.

Google Doodle for celebrating José de Almada Negreiros

On June 1, 2022, Google featured a Doodle on its homepage for celebrating José de Almada Negreiros.

Today’s Google Doodle, represented by guest artist Melissa Crowton, celebrates the life, works, innovative tradition, and legacy of José de Almada Negreiros. He was a multi-faceted artist, writer, and choreographer of Futurism, and is broadly viewed as one of the most influential Portuguese and European artists of the 20th century.

On this day in 1911, José de Almada Negreiros made his artistic debut at 18 years old by publishing a cartoon named “A Weighty Reason” in the 4th issue of A Sátira, a Lisbon magazine.

José de Almada Negreiros was awarded the Columbano Prize by the National Secretariat of Propaganda in 1942 and the Domingos Sequeira Award in 1946, as well as various honors and decorations throughout his lifetime.

His works are shown far and wide around Europe, most prominently in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, the port terminals of Alcântara, and Rocha do Conde de Óbidos, and in the lounge bar of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon.

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