Fernanda Fragateiro

Montijo, 1962
Lives and works in Lisbon

Crossing sculpture, installation and architecture, Fernanda Fragateiro’s works enter into dialogue with the museological, public, natural and landscape spaces they occupy. The works establish relationships of scale, environment, matter, balance and narrative with the elements surrounding them, sparking performative actions such as entering, walking or sitting.

They articulate heavy commonplace building materials such as wood, plaster, cement, brick and aluminium with smooth, mirrored, polished and chromed surfaces, proposing, in their extreme economy and formal rigour, the enhancement of their conceptual foundations. As the artist herself says, “I want the material, the earth, the stone, the wood, to be content. (…) I want the material to be as close as possible to the idea, to the thought.”

If some of her projects result from direct collaborations with artists, landscape architects or performers, others take as their starting point critical and political engagement with the work of architects and designers who have marked breakthroughs, inflections and ideological failures in the history of modernism. This framework is reinforced by a reference to the idea of the library and to the constant use of books, often rare editions selected for the relevance of their content as well as for their form.

Lígia Afonso
[Plano Nacional das Artes and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian]
Curator, teacher and researcher born in Lisbon in 1981
Text originally written for Google Arts & Culture apropos the exhibition “All I Want, Portuguese Women Artists from 1900 to 2020”, curated by Helena de Freitas and Bruno Marchand
Courtesy of the Artist © Humberto Mouco