A country of navigators and explorers, Portugal endowed native Rui Moreira with a taste for faraway expeditions— to India, to the Southern Moroccan desert, to the Amazon Forest – which became the primary sources of inspiration for his art. He returned to the desert of Morocco more than a dozen times, with its luminosity and its overwhelming heat, the meandering labyrinths of Far-Eastern cities and the near absolute silence of the desert. In the Amazonian jungle, he encountered the freezing temperatures in the mountains at the source of the Ganges, the solitude and the extreme humidity. Drawing incessantly after returning from his journeys, the artist sets in motion a sort of mnemonic exercise, reviving, with his body and in a totally instinctive fashion, the natural cycle of these places and sensations, in order to feel them in all their details.
This intense feeling underlies the structure of Rui Moreira’s drawings, and the particular, dense atmospheres of each of these locations is visible in his work. Geometric abstractions invoke the detail of the infinitely small at the scale of a cosmography, organic landscapes mix desert dunes with Himalayan Mountains and Amazonian fern trees, and characters in the form of divinities in mythological landscapes integrate dance motives of Katakali and costumes of Caretos de Podence of the Tras-os-Montes region, in the North of Portugal.
His drawings are also nourished by cinematographic references to Tarkovsky, Hitchcock, Herzog, Syberberg or Kubrick; or musical references, from Bach and Stockhausen to traditional Indian, Japanese, Portuguese or Arabic music; or again striking artistic references such as a fresco of Piero della Francesca.
The originality and depth of Rui Moreira’s work are striking. The monumentality of the ensemble is constructed in infinite, delicate detail, and the artist lives each of his drawings like an unfolding field of exploration, where he uses his body like an immense machine for creating his drawings, spending in between 4 and 8 months to complete them.
The gallery has organised two solo exhibitions of Rui Moreira: Inner Monsoon in 2010, and The Night in 2014, deeply inspired by the eponymous movie by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg. In 2014, the MUDAM in Luxembourg presented a solo show, accompanied by a catalogue published with the collaboration of the gallery. On this occasion, the MUDAM purchased a major drawing of the artist. In 2015, Rui Moreira’s work entered the prestigious Collections of contemporary art of the French bank Société Générale.
In 2016, a group of ten works created between 2007 and 2015 by the Portuguese artist, who has received a great deal of international attention, is presented at the Pavilhião Branco in Lisbon. Entitled Os Pirómanos, the exhibition continued to the Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães.
In 2018, the curator Yuko Hasegawa presented Rui Moreira’s works in the exhibition Saudade Unmemorable Place in Time — China-Portugal Contemporary Art at the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai. This exhibition is also presented at the Museu Coléção Berardo — The Cultural Center of Belém in Lisbon that same year.
During 2019, the gallery presents works by the Rui Moreira in the exhibition space entitled Observatoire of BHV, the famous shopping mall in Paris during the exhibition Sous le soleil du Portugal.
From March 12 to May 29, 2022, the gallery is pleased to present The Passengers, a new solo exhibition of works by Rui Moreira, bringing together drawings made by the artist over the last two years.
Rui Moreira is preparing a major solo exhibition at MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon for 2024. This exhibition will travel to other European institutions.