Fernando Mascarenhas1997

Written for the exhibition
Manuel Amado, Pintura - Biblioteca Municipal Calouste Gulbenkian, Ponte de Sor, 1997
It is impossible to look at Manuel Amado’s painting without reminding ourselves that he is also an architect, even though he stopped working as one ten years ago; or maybe that is not so, because his paintings are also architectures, even when we do not find built elements in them, only natural ones.  

He is an architect in the way he creates and re-creates spaces and environments, an architect in the visual precision of his painting and an architect in the austerity of his compositions. 
However, once we linger a while before his paintings, the painter starts emerging from his apparent, superficial subordination to the architect. The lines, which seem so exactly traced, are actually full of tiny imprecisions. The plays of light and shade, which seem extremely harsh, nearly Manichean, eventually reveal many subtleties. The atmospheres, which may seem obvious and sharply defined, are actually disturbing and distressing. 

The streets are attractive and inviting, but at the same time forbidding. The landscapes glimpsed through doors and windows attract us, while simultaneously declaring their intangibility.

There is always something that leads to something else, there is always a suggestion, almost an invitation to another dimension, sometimes indicated and only guessed at other times, but always something that is and is not at the same time, something that affirms and denies in the very act of affirming.  

Though disturbing and perplexing, these spaces also contain hospitable and comforting places in the subtle variations of light and of shade itself, refuges that allow us to rest and protect ourselves from the harshness of the sun, that let us dream without fear of becoming lost and rest from every possible (and impossible) adventure, thus finding the courage to walk other paths and try new itineraries.