23 Oct. 2011 // 22 Jan. 2012

EVOCATION | MESTRE JÚLIO RESENDE

Sala de Exposições Temporárias | Temporary Exhibitions Room

In life, like in art, we must be what we believe in. And right now, they are both contained in the testimony that we must give when a great artist who leaves us was also a great friend and a lover of both: life and art. The painter and teacher Júlio Resende, Mestre Resende as we respectfully honoured our teachers in the Fine Arts School, was generous by nature, training, discipline and extraordinary capacity for work, to leave us, we Portuguese in all latitudes, with an exceptional body of work and endow us with such a treasure. Moreover, he gave us the possibility of discovering and enjoying even more, for the always surprising quality and versatility, a remarkable legacy of plastic and aesthetic achievements, that cover every expression: from ceramics and glass, to mosaics and tapestry; from illustration and graphic art to set design; from animation to painting and literary works; and all done with exacting rigour, stubborn dedication and a deep knowledge of the subject matter. He was able to surprise us without ever repeating himself, without ever applying the formula of success that he so much liked to question and even contradict. As if this were not enough, Júlio Resende was also a teacher at the Porto School of Fine Arts, where he lived up to his responsibilities. So many generations had the privilege of listening to him speak of what it was to be a fine artist and what demands society placed on an artist. His love of his country, its history and culture, help in the understanding of both his work and his legacy as a citizen. He said that merit came from doing more than is required of one, because obligation is the minimum requirement for someone who has a task to fulfil. He travelled the world, interpreting it, and his deep knowledge of his country and the craft of the painter was, through his universal vision, linked to an interdisciplinary culture that he cultivated, that gave an irreverent dynamic to his work. Always committed to collective achievement and an unusually acute sense of civic responsibility, he wanted to create Lugar do Desenho, which happened next to his own home. He never wanted this place to be a space for personal glory, but rather for storing his valuable collection of drawings where their display could, in the most universal and interdisciplinary meaning, offer prolific investigation and invoke the sense, reason and destiny of what Francisco de Holanda said: “In everything I put the drawing, which I venture to say, that everything that is done in this world is drawing”. At this point, we, his friends, owe him the fulfilment of that wish that in so many precious hours of his precious existence, we could live to the full. Every moment of contact with him was of constructive enrichment of the world. Utopia was on our horizon, but pragmatism and a feeling for the value of time and respect for life and human dignity were stronger than anything, hence the value of time! The essential was and always will be more important than the circumstantial.
Hollow or inconsequential conversations were never welcome in his company. He always cultivated this urge to do things properly, using the dedication and skill that are required of a demanding artist. He rejected fancifulness, virtuosity, ingeniousness, in favour of research and emotion, of sincerity, authenticity and truth, for complete human fulfilment. Mestre Resende was a man who was never resigned to a fatalist destiny that he always rejected. His legacy was always this, either through the observation of the facts of his work, or for his testimony. He was a representative and witness of a time that has remained in our history. And Portuguese Culture will never cease to give him his due, without ever needing to be where he did not want to be or being what he was not. So today we are saddened by the departure of Júlio Resende, but comforted by what he has left us. Lugar do Desenho, its Board of Directors, his colleagues and so many friends, gratefully recognise the genius and talent of his legacy for the creation of man’s greater happiness, which is the understanding of our destiny.
Thank you, Mestre, and farewell!

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