Hey Porto spoke with Frederico Guidiceandrea, onde of the exhibition curators and a major expert on M.C. Escher’s work
– What can people expect from this exhibition in Porto?
The exhibition covers the entire artistic career of MC Escher, starting from the early works that reflect the influence of his teacher, Jesserun de Mesquita, a major exponent of the art nouveau in the Netherlands. An important space is dedicated to the italian period, the nocturnal images of Rome, the southern Italian landscapes and studies of nature.
In the following sections the most famous works are represented: the tessellations, the impossible buildings, ribbons, regular solids, reflecting surfaces and metamorphosis. The exhibition continues with occasional works that MC Escher created on commission such as bookplates, greeting cards, postage stamps and more.
The exhibition closes with a large space devoted to the Eschermania. Here, evidence of the influence of MC Escher on the iconography of the 20th and 21st century. Book covers, psychedelic posters, LP covers, comics, magazines, videoclips and works of contemporary artists who were inspired by MC Escher.
Throughout the exhibition a series of experiential games leads the visitor into the world of MC Escher. They experience the paradoxes of perception encoded by the laws of Gestalt and physically enter into some of MC Escher’s works.
– How would you define Escher’s art?
The art of MC Escher can be interpreted in layers. At first wonder prevails, then if you look deeper you will discover more and more details: paradoxes of perception, mathematical structures, references to the Italian landscape and to the great artists of the past. Every time I set up an exhibition, even having seen the works hundreds of times, I always discover something new.
– Which are his main references?
The main influence especially in his early work is certainly to be found in the art of his master, Jesserun de Mesquita, who was an important exponent of the Dutch Art Noveau. Later in Italy he came into contact with exponents of Futurism, in particular with the art movement called ‘Areopittura’ who loved to depict scenes and landscapes from above with an unusual use of perspective. In the later works the greatest influence came from the contacts with the world of mathematics, especially the correspondence with important mathematicians such Roger Penrose or Harlod Coxeter were the basis of many of the iconic works.
– Escher is intriguing, disturbing, disconcerting, a true genious. Do you agree?
Yes, his work captures many of the trends in the technological society. Modern scientific theories such as the theory of relativity and quantum physics have profoundly changed the way we see the world. The world is not as it appears, on a very large or very small scale it can be very counter-intuitive and paradoxical. MC Escher, through his tessellations and impossible structures, opens a window that allows us to grasp the complexity of the world.
It was born two years ago. The Euskalduna. A restaurant out of this world. At that counter where love is served in the form of boletos or rooster-fish eggs. With herbs, shaves and reductions. Textures and flavors. Elements. Juices. Aromas. The shrimp and the mackerel, shrimp and pigeon seem out of a fable. And the rabanada that closes the meal is a metaphor that reminds us that what is perfect does not need anything. It is through small insignificances that Vasco travels in search of perfection. In a smoked chicken broth to season a squid. In a low temperature yolk to make a rolled ticket sublime. In a carabineiro juice that gives a divine touch to a prawn açorda. In the gum of a carolino rice berry. Or that bread that Rui kneaded. A must repeat to those who’ve been there. A discovery for those who love the elegance of good food and have not yet found the best destination for this purpose in the very noble and unconquered city of Porto
The green Porto. In the park. It could be in the City. Listening through plantains the whispers of Nick Cave pushing the sky. Or in Serralves. Go through the Clareira das Azinheiras with Richard Serra. Cross the Alameda with Claes Oldenburg. Contemplate the sky in the Roseiral with Anish Kapoor and the Sky Mirror. Feel the caress of light on the Lake and the Meadow. And end up in the Tea House as Lou Reed to drink sangria in the Park and sing “Oh It’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you”.
Miró is back home. In Serralves. Some works from the collection of the Portuguese State, you will find paintings from the Miró and Mapfre Foundations collection. An exhibition focused on the period leading up to Miró’s grand retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1973. Tension and anger at the death of painting. Creation and destruction. Trimmed frames. Burned. Murdered. Die to be reborn, to reinvent. New materials. Ready made art. Bags, buckets, boxes of wine. Some works that were not shown for nearly forty years. And the Sobreteixims we already know of “Materiality and Metamorphosis”. “Miró and the Death of Painting”. Another great exhibition in Serralves. We are waiting for you until 3 March.
POINT 1: CAPELA FAROL S.MIGUEL O ANJO
The Lighthouse-Chapel of São Miguel-O-Anjo was the first lighthouse built from scratch in Portugal and one of the first in the world. It was built in 1527 in the area of the Cantareira, by order of D.Miguel da Silva – King’s ambassador to the Pope, Bishop of Viseu and Abbot Commander of the Monastery of Santo Tirso.
The influences brought and lived from his stay in Italy inspired the construction of what is considered the first Portuguese renaissance building. Like the Pantheon in Rome, the lighthouse chapel features a centralized plan where the sacred area lies at the center of the space. Originally, the lighthouse was embedded in the cliffs of the river Douro but in the late nineteenth century it was surrounded by the construction of the new jetty.
Although it is currently closed to the public due to its poor state of conservation, it is worth visiting this monument and its context. To see in the background the sea line, to imagine all the traffic that has passed through it for all these centuries and to read closely the inscription on the stone wall that is resisting the erosion of the times.
The lighthouse now awaits restoration works that will include an exhibition of the history of the monument.
POINT 2: MIRADOURO DE SANTA CATARINA
The viewpoint of Santa Catarina is, simultaneously, the width of the Chapel of Santa Catarina and Senhora dos Anjos, high in the parish of Lordelo do Ouro. The wide, welcoming area is surrounded by a stone wall that protects us from the cliff and invites us to approach.
Here we are invaded by the wide view of the estuary of the river Douro. Within reach is great part of the south bank of the Douro, the garden of the Calém, the bridge of Arrábida, the green Park of the Pasteleira and the house to the sea. As we look over the wall we can contemplate the topography that descends on terraces or peer into the courtyards and gardens of the neighboring families.
The square has recently been renovated and the chapel is also in good condition. In the stripped white façade, the tile figures of Santa Catarina and Senhora dos Anjos stand out. The chapel opens on Saturdays to celebrate Mass at 5pm. The late afternoon visit allows you to admire the beautiful sunset.
One needs to start this journey with their belly lined. Create a wall that is prepared to protect us from the aggressions that we are about to endure. For this, there is no better than a Francesinha. The place? Requinte, still in Matosinhos, which promises to protect all those who venture out in Porto.
The night is a crescendo, and if we have dinner in Matosinhos it is necessary to start to climb the Avenida da Boavista where, in the middle of it, it is obligatory to make a pit stop in the Bar 1900, in Foco. The young environment and the mystery that covers it, are signs of a promising future. There, one drinks beer, cold “minis”, or cocktails brilliantly prepared by its owner: Martins, as everyone knows him by.
However, this is just a warm-up. When the sounds of the bells begin, announcing a new day, it is time to take to the sea and continue to climb Boavista towards Porto. Then the world begins. Adega Sports, Adega D.Leonor and 77 are the mandatory stops. Also, these places are not eternal and when their closure begins it is time of indecisions: go for a little dance or call it a night. For those who are willing to make their night epic, in my opinion, there is only one place to go: Boo. Refined space, many stories, where we are well served and well received, with the music of vogue and an environment of more or less general madness. However, for the less adventurous, the Rendez Vous or Porto Tónico are always good places to stretch your legs. These never disappoint and are a safe haven of leisurely play.
It is necessary to finish as we started, in Rainha da Foz , accompanied by a Francesinha or some “panados à Rainha” and a beer, laughter and memories of a recent night that promises to linger in our memory.
Zeca Couceiro da Costa
I’ve been living in downtown Porto for 15 years, since the area was decadent and unsafe in the eyes of most… but not mine.
The downtown of this city has a strong character, with spaces enveloped by buildings with history and traditions. It is from here that I often go for walks, usually on foot or by public transport.
I know the city where I live. I’ve been discovering its corners over the years, from where the river meets the sea to the opposite side, where the city is still strongly marked by the industrial movement of other times.
There are not many public sites in the city that I have not visited, some of them quite vivid and filling my memory. However, Porto always surprises me. The sites are reborn and renewed, so I often feel like a tourist in my own city.
I will be a tourist when I go back to Quinta do Barão de Nova Sintra, after the recent requalification, which made it worthy of the name Jardins Românticos de Nova Sintra (Romantic Gardens of Nova Sintra), going back to stroll, see the old fountains and how the new sculpture of Julião Sarmento was integrated into the new garden.
It will also be a pleasure to revisit Parque da Pasteleira and witness the transformation to which the old water reservoir is being subjected in order to welcome one of the sites of the City Museum. I am curious to know how the history of the City will be cared for inside the successive water cells of the old reservoir.
I usually start my days early. I try to keep this habit on weekends and get out early to enjoy the mornings. I avoid, therefore, the night and the atmosphere of bars. I prefer coffees and I like to read in the light of day. My favorite is Guarany, right on Avenida dos Aliados. With a lot of arabica, the taste of the coffee is prolonged.
As for restaurants, I have a particular relationship with Euskalduna Studio, in Rua de Santo Ildefonso. I never got to dine there. “We’re sorry, but we don’t have a table”, “Sorry, but we’re full”… are some of the answers I’ve often encountered. I’ll keep trying…
To listen to music… naturally, Casa da Música.
Founded in 1968 by the father of the current owner, this space, where Portuguese traditional gastronomy reigns, has two large rooms and a terrace ideal for the hottest days.
The wine list is diverse and has the main regions of the country in mind. Although it serves several meat and fish dishes daily, their specialty is the octopus fillets with rice of the same.
Rua da Picaria, Nº 85
Telephone: 00351 222002600
Ferrrimex presents a wide range of innovative products and services for DIY, minor repairs, remodelling works, lighting and gardening. In the physical store – located in the Boavista area – or virtual, you will find superior products at a very affordable price.
The company also bets on innovation and has a tool hire service available, for those who need to make a small repair and do not want to invest in something that they probably will not use again.
Learn more about this innovative service through the following contacts:
Ferrimex Home & Office, Rua João de Deus, 58 Porto
Telephone +351 223 264 249
International experience: Internship under the Erasmus +
Before Porto, my Erasmus stops were Madrid and Barcelona: two populous cities full of life. However, my time in Porto was by far the best I could have imagined. And the vibrant international community that Porto offers. As soon as I arrived I felt welcome and had the feeling that everyone knew each other or wanted to be friends.
- A suggestion of a restaurant to go in Porto
Tasquinha dos sabores (favorite restaurant)
- A bar that you really need to know
- A tour of Porto
Rua Santa Catarina to take a walk and go shopping
- A place to study
Livraria Lello. A place to study or to go when you are struggling to find the motivation to study. This place inspires anyone to choose a book and start reading.
The panoramic view from the Guindalense Futebol Clube.
International experience: internship and currently living and working in Porto, the city where she moved to after meeting her boyfriend there.
- A suggestion of a restaurant to go in Porto
Bira dos namorados, in the street of Ceuta. It is a restaurant that recently opened, but which already existed in Braga. It is a hamburger and pregaria place, with a simple but very good menu. I love the space because it is filled with quaint motifs with its own style and it is almost all built through reused materials.
- A bar that you really need to know
Capela Incomum, in Travessa do Carregal, in the area of Cedofeita. It is a bar inside an old chapel of the nineteenth century.
- A tour of Porto
I highly recommend a bike ride along the river Douro to Foz. There are several places along the Ribeira where you can rent a bike, so there are no excuses for not doing this tour. Then, when you get to Foz, you must eat fish in one of the restaurants!
- A place to study
E-Learning Café in the Botanical Garden. In addition to being a space to study, the e-learning café also organizes various academic and cultural events. The garden is the perfect setting to take a break and a picnic before returning to study.
- A secret of the city of Porto
The secret ingredient of Francesinha’s sauce! I have not found it yet. Porto has several good restaurants to eat francesinha. My favorite is the restaurant Santiago. That’s where I ate my first one and I was a fan!