José Pedro Croft
Portugal, 1957
José Pedro Croft was educated in Lisbon, where he embarked on his artistic career after working in Lagos under the guidance of João Coutileiro from 1975 to 1980. His beginnings as a sculptor were marked by the use of stone, a material he worked in the style of the megalithic funeral monuments, retrieving splinters and scraps from them to make accumulation pieces. As an intervention in the landscape, in the magical setting of Cabo Espichel, south of Lisbon, there remains a set of various pieces of sculpture that make up an enigmatic sanctuary of stones outlined against the horizon out to sea. They suggest strange blends of Celtic menhirs and the padrãoof the first Portuguese discoveries of the 15th century. Later, at a time when he was becoming known abroad, Croft's works moved towards an intimate vision of unstable balance, somewhere between fullness and emptiness, presence and absence, with works -usually in small formats- made by smelting iron and bronze, painted and coated with white oil paint. In the nineties Croft's work has retained the white textures in forms that have gradually become more perfectly geometrical, done in plaster. It includes everyday pieces of furniture such as tables, chairs and even mirrors that introduce genuinely conceptual problems into a debate on post-Minimalist sculpture, which tends to go beyond the strictly theoretical through a global perceptive dimension of space. That brings his works close to installation, while keeping it inside a radically sculptural sensitive conceptual framework.
Santiago B. Olmo