Rogerio Taveira

Alberto Carneiro

[PhD Summary]

The sculpted trees of Alberto Carneiro: Material and landscape in the confluence between Gaston Bachelard and a Taoist inspiration

Summary: This work explores two of the defining influences in the sculptural body of work on trees by Alberto Carneiro: Gaston Bachelard and a Taoist inspiration. The exploration of work on the poetic material of Bachelard enables us to understand the exploration carried out of the tree material by Carneiro and his constant reference to the four elements. The Taoist inspiration was approached particularly based upon the landscape painting that summarised not only fulcral questions to this system of thinking but also its entire attitude towards nature. In a third chapter, eight case studies serve to substantiate the study carried out in the two prior chapters.

Objectives: This study seeks to explore these two influences, Gaston Bachelard and the input drawn from Taoism, as keys to a broader understanding of the work on trees of this Portuguese artist.

Highlighted methodological features: The construction of this research arises out of a process of intense dialogue with the artist. This is reflected whether in terms of the long series of interviews held with the artist or through his writings and the clues they show. Based upon the aforementioned dialogues, we primarily make recourse of the bibliography on the two main themes handled. In the case of Gaston Bachelard, only his texts were taken up and interpreted by an amateur (lover) on his work. In relation to the Taoist inspiration, we referred to the interpretations detailed in the bibliography.

Results obtained: The results obtained enable, according to the sculptor himself, a deeper and more significant understanding of his work as well as leaving new research possibilities open.
The non-linear progression in the construction of this work, detailed in the first two chapters as parallels, with the structuring similar in the progression made from macro to micro themes, and thus enabling progressive focuses on particular questions raised by this sculptured work: the transcendence of technique based upon a long apprenticeship, the corporal relationship with features in the landscape and its evocation, and the apparent paradoxicality of the non-objectuality of his sculpture. All these themes, while having contributed towards a deeper understanding of the relationships with the two influences handled, represent stimulating opportunities for complementary lines of research.