• foto

Jaime: “I saw one of my female dogs with wolves” is an exhibition dedicated to the oeuvre of Jaime Fernandes (1899—1969). It combines drawings held in various private collections in Portugal, France, Switzerland and Austria and from national and international institutions, such as the Calouste Gulbenkian
Foundation (Lisbon) and the Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne). The exhibition is the result of an ambitious research project that was launched in 2019 by the Centro de Arte Oliva, aiming to locate Jaime’s drawings from the final years of his life, which unequivocally established him as one of the most leading artists of European outsider art.
He was born in the village of Barco (Covilhã) where he lived until he was 38 years old and then he was institutionalized in the mental Hospital of Miguel Bombarda (Lisbon) for more than three decades, until his death in 1969. He unexpectedly began drawing when he was over sixty years old, and had been hospitalised for over thirty years. His drawings are based on a dense web of lines. He creates a world of ancestral figures, populated by imaginary animals, and human and anthropomorphic figures. Jaime’s inner world was also expressed through texts, including verses added to his drawings and letters to his wife. This exhibition takes its title from one of the several loose sentences that he wrote, about his visions, dreams and unfathomable thoughts. The artistic value of Jaime’s oeuvre was only recognised several years after his death. Surprisingly his fame extended abroad. In 1980, 74 of his drawings were shown in an exhibition in the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the largest ever dedicated to his work. A year later, around 50 of his drawings were shown in the Bienal de São Paulo, in the exhibition Arte Incomum [Uncommon Art]. Since then, his drawings have been shown across Portugal, the United States and Europe, and included in several publications and exhibitions, in which his work has been valued as one of the most significant in the history of European outsider art. In Portugal, his work has achieved cult status. But it continues to be primarily known through the film Jaime (1974) by António Reis (1931—1991) and Margarida Cordeiro (b. 1938), rather than through direct contact with drawings, which few people have actually seen. This exhibition includes over 40 drawings by Jaime Fernandes that belong to private and public, national and international collections. Some are unpublished drawings that have have never previously been presented in artistic institutions. The research conducted within the framework of this exhibition has unearthed new information and knowledge about Jaime’s oeuvre. In the course of the preservation and restoration work, the author’s writings were discovered on the back of several drawings, together with descriptive notes that were added by the hospital staff. Photographic negatives of 68 works have been preserved, including records of drawings that may have been lost in the meantime. In addition to the drawings, the exhibition will screen films by António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, including their first film, which introduced the world to Jaime’s work.

Patent at the Centro de Arte Oliva from October 9, 2021 to March 20, 2022.

All rights reserved - © S. João da Madeira - Turismo Industrial