Manuel Cargaleiro: «Ogni vedere è aver visto» (EN version)
Handmade pottery is an artistic excellence in the province of Salerno, proof of the genius of its inhabitants, the splendour of its landscapes and the richness of its history. Hence my desire to continue to promote and enhance the excellence of Salerno, known and loved around the world and inextricably linked to several foreign artists who, beginning in the twenties, gave birth to a cultural syncretism and aesthetic influence that lives on today.
Celebrating 85 years of an international artist is a moment of joy but also the opportunity to take stock of what the artist has been able to offer humanity: Cargaleiro is a Portuguese painter and ceramist appreciated throughout the world, working for over half a century between Portugal and France, who has regularly frequented the Salerno area, making it a place of creation and a source of inspiration for his art.
He started his business making ceramic tiles, the Azulejo, the unmistakable expression of traditional Portuguese arts and crafts.
Towards the middle of the last century, after moving to France, his art evolved when he came into contact with the Parisian avant-garde.
He received numerous commissions from the Ministry of Culture of the French Republic, creating an imposing polychrome ceramic tile decoration in the Champs – Elysées Clemenceau metro station (1995).
He continued to maintain a strong bond with his homeland: in Lisbon he created the tiles for the facade of the Franco-Portuguese Institute (1983) and for the Colegio Militar-Luz station (1987), he was awarded the dual appointment as Commander of Sant’Iago da Espada by the President of the Republic of Portugal (1982) and Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government (1984). In 1990, he established the Manuel Cargaleiro Foundation in Lisbon, whose construction project was designed by Alvaro Siza.
The first meeting between the Provincial Administration of Salerno and Manuel Cargaleiro was on the occasion of the “Journey through Ceramics” International Award, presented to the great Portuguese artist in 1999, who drew inspiration from our places and our artistic production. It was the beginning of a fruitful relationship with the Salernitana land, which witnessed the Master create the ceramic panels entitled “Rosa Rosae”,one to be found in the gardens of Villa Guariglia in Raito, Vietri sul Mare and the other in the city of Amalfi.
The subsequent donation of several works to the Province and the local authorities laid the groundwork for the establishment, in 2003, of the “Manuel Cargaleiro” Museum of Industrial Art in Vietri sul Mare, now located in Villa de Ruggiero in Nocera Superiore (SA), whose historic gardens and halls will soon be the Portuguese artist’s new museum, adding to the already famous museum in his honour situated in the heart of the old city of Castelo Branco, in Portugal.
The exhibition “The Art of Manuel Cargaleiro” intends to propose “The memory of the miracle of the hands” of which ceramics is the surprising result: polychrome panels, plates and sculptures that mark the main stages of the life of the teacher, but also of ‘artistic experience through the search for balance between form, matter and spirit.
His art offers a reinterpretation of original ceramics, no longer reduced to just an anonymous production, but able to find their own cultural identity.
Cargaleiro has defended, promoted and enhanced the artistic and cultural heritage in a country, Italy, where he wasn’t born, but which he has adopted.
President of the “Manuel Cargaleiro” Foundation