Active under his full name Pedro Cabrita Reis until the end of 2019, the artist is widely known for large-scale installations in which he uses construction materials such as bricks, aluminium strips, neon tubes, doors or windows. Trained as a painter, this medium has always been the basis of Cabrita’s formally versatile work. Its further development has led the Portuguese artist to his sculptural works and installations and thus to a critical exchange with exhibition venues that have become his trademark.
In 2019 Cabrita not only changed his name, but also returned to painting, his point of departure in art. Cabrita’s entire oeuvre is strongly defined by his origins and his surroundings, and landscape is at the core of Cabrita’s painting. Most of his latest works on canvas and paper thus approach the genre of landscape painting which he has always been particularly drawn to. In his series of green paintings, ‘The Moss Suite’ (2019), he turns his gaze to the nature around him while always staying loyal to his principle of ‘the minimum gesture.’
The paper works from the 2019 series ‘Os desenhos da maré baixa’ (‘The Low Tide Drawings’) convey the feeling of the gentle surf of the sea through only a few vertical or horizontal brushstrokes of transparent paint. In his paintings as in his sculptures, Cabrita seeks beauty in simplicity. In ‘Winter Flowers’ (2020) intense colours flow freely into one another on a rough canvas. By working with minimum means, the artist reduces his works to their essence; their melancholic stillness welcomes introspection and serenity.
The small oil paintings in his 2020 ‘Landscapes’ series are made with thick pastose oil colours on plywood. Throughout his broad oeuvre Cabrita has always connected to the themes of space and memory while refraining from any descriptive or narrative intent. His landscape paintings are thus always abstract, emotional landscapes, always reaching out for something deeper than the eye can possibly see when studying nature.