Carlos Monjardino Manuel Amado’s Painting 1998

Written for the exhibition
The Little Arrábida Convent / O Conventinho da Arrábida Fundação Oriente, Casa Garden, Macao, 1998

At first sight, Manuel Amado’s painting cleanses its spaces of the human condition’s miasmas. This, to me, is a new experience, because I am one of those who believe that everything on Earth bears the mark of man, and that man’s actions should simply extend nature. 

This approach of Manuel Amado is, in a certain way, a fortunate audacity: an attempt at conveying to us what can be usable and, why not, fascinating in culture’s intervention in the world. Straight lines and circles are human inventions. There are no straight lines in nature, and Earth itself is not round: its poles are flattened. From all the novelties brought by man’s culture, Manuel Amado draws the main theme of his work. It features no living being; it is, in a way, a portrait of human work, cleansed of its miasmas, which almost amounts to a purification.   
In this exhibition, which focuses on the Convent of Arrábida, it seems that he has, naturally, once again carried out that purifying work. Spaces are very clearly defined; by doing so, he seems intent on driving away all impurities: a kind of ‘disinfection’ of human presence, as if the walls, doors and windows had emerged fully formed from nature. 
With this painting, one believes that maybe, one day, the works of man can remain ‘clean’ as on the day of their creation; it is a double vision: the vision of what we did and the one of what we may one day be able to preserve. 

Then, men will look at his painting, aware of the fact that they have an immense potential to soil the world, which should be as clean as those pictures Manuel Amado paints.