Fernando Lanhas (Porto, 1923—2012), like all architects, wanted to understand the geometry of the world. His academic training helped him in this aim as much as the fact of being a painter, designer, archaeologist, palaeontologist, astronomer, ethnologist and poet. His pictorial work, which aids understanding of how painting can contribute to the knowledge of the world, cannot, as we shall see, be separated from the many other activities that occupied Lanhas for over 50 years.
As a painter, he holds a privileged position in the history of Portuguese art, being seen as the pioneer of geometric abstraction.
Supported by his early interest in astronomy and archeology, as well as his architectural studies and familiarity with classical music, Lanhas’ reductive forms lay in the conviction that there was a geometrical logic common to all ages and all disciplines underlying the universe and trying to understand how it functions. We could say that Lanhas brought the traditionally separated worlds of science and the arts closer together.
Production: Fundação de Serralves - Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto
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Image: Fernando Lanhas, 016-53, 1953. Óleo sobre platex, 71 x 63,5 cm. Col. do artista, em depósito na Fundação de Serralves - Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto. Photo: Filipe Braga, © Fundação de Serralves, Porto